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.