Riverlands Conservation Area

I went to the Riverlands Conservation Area today.  I was able to photograph half a dozen different species of birds.  The Riverlands is located in Saint Charles County, Missouri, on the western end of the Alton bridge.  It was under this bridge that I met Matt Shellenberg, an avid birder and a way better nature photographer than I.  Checkout his website here.

There were plenty of  Bald Eagles roosting around the Riverlands.  The individual above is one of two that I got good pictures of.  He/she seems to be keeping an eagle eye on me.  I suspect that they were all just hanging about, because this is their nesting season.

Most of the Trumpeter Swans seem to have departed the Riverlands.  I did find one small flock (less than forty) in the wetlands area that Anne and I had gone bushwhacking for them a month ago.  I spooked them as soon as I got out of the car and only got a couple shots of them as they flew away.

Anne and I have seen Common Goldeneyes all winter long, but this pair are the first that were close enough to get a shot of, that I was willing to publish.  The female is to the left and the male is to the right.  You can’t tell it from this shot, but their eyes are really golden.

Pictured above is a pair of Common Mergansers.  Again the female is to the left and the male is to the right.  These birds seem much larger than the Mergansers that I see in the summer on Lake Superior.

I was shooting pictures of a line of Mergansers and caught this Male Bufflehead.  This is only the second Bufflehead that I have seen.  I posted a picture of the first one that I have ever seen, just a couple of days ago.  I saw that one earlier this month at Crissy Park in San Francisco.  Even though I was closer to that one than the one pictured above, the above picture is a better shot.  Chalk it up to better light.

The sixth species that I saw was a Great Blue Heron.  It is featured in today’s header.  Check it out here.

California Birding Roundup

The picture above is of a White-Crowned Sparrow.  This is a pretty common bird, but I need to add it to my life long list anyway.  I rather like the picture though as it sits atop some brush at Point Lobos.

The male and female Buffleheads, pictured to the left, were photographed at Crissy Field in San Francisco.  Their photos aren’t the best, the darn things kept diving at exactly the wrong time.  I wish that I could have taken better pictures, because for ducks they are a bit exotic.

The picture below is of an American Coots, also from Crissy Field.  A rather drab looking bird, walking along a drab shoreline in the still cloudy and drab part of what became quite the bright and fine day.  I think that the zoo might have this species and that I have photographed it there first, but this is much more sporting.

The final picture with this post is of a Brewer’s Blackbird.  It is another common bird in California, but is not native to the midwest.  I think that this wraps up all of the birds that I saw and can identify in California.

Today’s header shows an American Pelican in flight.  This picture was taken in Saint Louis and not California.  I did see pelicans in California and even managed to get a silhouette shot of one that I have already used as a header, but this is a better photograph.

This month, on the first morning that I was in California, I woke up in my hotel room.  The wake up call had just come, I answered it and then turned on the TV.  I was hoping to catch the weather.  I flipped through the channels until I got a local news broadcast.  What I caught first, was the tail end of some news article, but what the announcer said stuck with me.  He was explaining about some video that had just been aired and was now posted on the station’s website, “You are going to want watch it in IE and not Foxfire, it will play much better that way.”   With that one sentence, I knew that I was not in the midwest anymore, but in Silicon Valley.  I never did learn what the video was about.  Frankly, when a TV announcer makes such an exclamation, the content that he was talking about is probably over my head anyway.