The birding community of Northern California has been all abuzz about the Falcated Duck seen at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge. Birders and bird photographers have been coming from all over California and beyond to view this Eurasian bird, native to China, who somehow found his way to California.
Colusa NWR is less than 60 miles from our home, the other side of Sutter Buttes which I have photographed from my back yard. Close enough that there was no reason not to go and see for ourselves.
|White Fronted Geese|
Geese certainly weren't the only birds we saw, there was an amazing variety of waterfowl.
|Northern Shoveler transitioning from eclipse to breeding plumage|
The birds were by no means limited to aquatic species. We saw raptors as well. This Red Tailed Hawk was perched in a tree.
Nearby was this bird which I believe is a Peregrine Falcon. If I am wrong about this, please let me know. It is a first for me and I want to be sure.
There were also the usual suspects, lots of coots, a blue heron and another rookery of Black Crowned Night Herons similar to what we saw at Merced NWR.
So, you're wondering, did we see the Falcated Duck?
I must say, he was rather uncooperative and I wasn't happy with the images I got. When we first arrived the light was good but he was napping with his friends, some American Wigeons, on a log, his head tucked in. I missed when he jumped off the log to go feed, when I saw him again he was so far away I had to crop the image tightly. Later he came back to the log to preen, great poses but by then the light was low, his front in shadow.
What does "falcated" mean, you might ask. Well, it refers to those curved, tapered wing feathers, he is one fancy duck.
We hope to return for another try but first we have an appointment with some Sandhill Cranes at a different refuge in the opposite direction.
See more of our world at Our World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.