Monday, January 30, 2012

More Than Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes may have been our focus on our recent birding expedition to the Delta but they certainly weren't the only birds we saw.  Good Crane habitat is good habitat for a variety of species.
Tundra swans and geese enjoy the flooded fields as well.  But what kind of geese?
My first thought was that this goose, right behind the swans, was a Canada Goose although it seemed rather small and stocky.  When I read Eileen's post about the Brants I decided I needed to take another look.  No, not a Brant.  I went to one of my favorite sources, the Cornell site.  Here I learned about a newly recognized species, the Cackling Goose.  This guy seems to meet the criteria, smaller and with a shorter neck and bill than the Canada Goose, and with the white neck band, which is more common with the Cackling Goose.  There were several of these little guys.
In another field I spotted some little ducks in the distance, moving away as fast as there little feet could paddle.  Downloaded to the computer and cropped I saw that they were Ruddy Ducks, the first I have seen this year.  
In the irrigation ditch beside the road was a Snowy Egret.  We watched him as he used his big yellow feet to stir up the mud, looking for food.
Feeding in the same ditch was this Greater Yellowlegs.  He seemed to be using a similar technique to find food.
A Great Egret and Blue Heron took a siesta in a field.
Down the road some Curlews were foraging.





















I know I've shared several images of Kestrels but here is one more.  My best yet and I doubt I will ever do better of a Kestrel in the wild.











Your can find more views of our wonderful world at Our World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.
Find more birds at World Bird Wednesday, hosted for us by Springman

33 comments:

Linda Reeder said...

All of your photos are wonderful, and the kestrel is amazing! I don't know that I've ever seen a kestrel in the wild. What a beauty.

fredamans said...

They sure do look like our Canadian Goose, just a smaller version of it. The Canadian Goose is a very large bird.

Sylvia K said...

I do love all of your birds, Martha, and your photos are beautiful! Hope you have a great day! Enjoy!

Sylvia

Barb said...

This looks like Heaven for a bird- watcher, Martha. i like that littleYellowlegs - don't think i've ever seen one before.

Jim said...

Fantastic shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Lindy MacDuff said...

What a wonderful variety! I never tire of seeing the Kestrel - and this is an amazing image! The Cornell site is my favorite reference for birds.

Carly said...

I love the variety of birds that you've found.

Gaelyn said...

What a great place for all kinds of birds. Great shot of the kestrel.

Lara Leigh P said...

HELLO!

Island Rambles Blog said...

yes I think it is a crackling goose also...we have them here ...they are the smallest of the geese. Love all the bird photos.

Arija said...

The wealth of birds in your world is just amazing.
Love that kestrel.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - that really is a great set of images. How on Earth did we ID anything before the net?

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

Paulie said...

Wow! You got some real treasures! Wonderful that you can identify them all too!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Martha, fantastic birds and photos. I love the Curlew and the Kestrel is awesome. Fantastic sightings and the Cackling Goose is a nice surprise. Great post, thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Martha, fantastic birds and photos. I love the Curlew and the Kestrel is awesome. Fantastic sightings and the Cackling Goose is a nice surprise. Great post, thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

jewaicious said...

What extraordinary and beautiful captures of the winged ones.

heyBJK said...

Beautiful photos, Martha! I love your egret shots! Nice sighting of the Cackling geese. I've heard about them, but haven't seen any.

TexWisGirl said...

what a great mix of birds! love those curlews!

Gary said...

Grerat series, Martha!! Boom & gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Andrew Fulton said...

Wonderful images of all your lovely wildlife Martha.. but a big hug for sharing your Ruddy Ducks..
I used to see them over here but millions have been spent to eradicate them..
I really miss them.

Kay L. Davies said...

A new kind of goose, whodathunkit? Just a little guy, compared with our Canada Geese. And similar coloring to the Ruddy Ducks, a person might think, if seeing them from a distance.
Very interesting post, Martha.

Carole M. said...

..jut beautiful photographs to see; I enjoyed each one you've share

bailey-road.com said...

Wonderful captures! Yes, that Kestrel is a fine shot!

mick said...

A great series of photos. I would certainly like to see some of those birds - especially the Yellowlegs and the Curlew.

joo said...

I love them all Martha! Superb photos:)

Indrani said...

You got such clear crisp shots. Fantastic!

Springman said...

Wonderful collection Martha! Those little kestrels are hard to catch, and yours is a treasure indeed!

Larry said...

Wow Martha, congrats on that awesome American Kestrel photo. He is gorgeous! Good spot on the Cackler and the Long-billed Curlews are always nice to see. You got some great lighting on the Snowy and the Greater Yellowlegs too. A truly excellent collection!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

You can never share too many Kestrel photos! This is a wonderful capture! I also really like all of your shore birds too, a very delightful post!

Janie said...

Great bird shots! They snowy egret is my favorite.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Gorgeous collection of birds, Martha. Love seeing the ducks -- my favorite. :)

Carletta said...

All of these in one place - an awesome opportunity to snap shots.
The Kestrel has such a sweet face -love that shot against the sky.
A lovely series!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Terrific birds Martha -- I need to get over being so lazy about my IDs -- I'm usually so happy to get any picture at all that I settle for just a vague knowledge of what the bird is. (Egret, hawk, shorebird...broad generalizations.) You inspire me (in so many ways).