Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fieldnotes 3/24/2013 Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

A Good Day for Ducks

We started across County Road 8S. Near the Refuge we saw marsh hawk, red-tailed and rough-legged hawks. At the 8S pullout, the field was filled with sandhill cranes (but fewer than this time last year). Among the Canada geese were about 30 snow geese - an unusual sighting and that many snow geese makes it that much more unusual.

Also recorded:
--Western bluebirds

Ducks and duck-like birds:
--Cinnamon teal
--Northern shoveler
--Lesser scaup
--Green-winged teal
--American coot
--Common goldeneye
--American widgeon

At the first pond east of the Refuge visitor center, we saw an unusual-looking goose. It had a white patch on its side and orange legs. We debated whether it might be a Canada goose hybrid because it was near a regular-looking Canada goose that might have been its mate.

Along the auto tour we saw the thrilling yet ominous sight of two peregrine falcons feeding on what was once a flying creature. Their golden eyes and sharp claws were clearly visible to the naked eye, not 10 feet  away from the road and our car.

Our evening trip ended with the lovely spring symbol of American red-breasted robins, singing and courting.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brian, my girlfriend and I recently moved to the SLV and we came across a ground nest with 3 baby birds. We left them alone and let them grow up, but snapped a few pictures. I'm wondering if I might be able to send you the pictures and get you to help with identifying them? My guess after a bit of research is song sparrow.