Four Things I learned this Past Weekend 3/14/15

1. An American Woodcock has decided to call the woods behind our condo home.  Maybe he does every year but this is our first spring here.  I heard him “penting” both Saturday and Sunday. Along with 2 Great Horned Owls.  But I already knew they were there.

2. Why it’s called a Ring-necked Duck. You think after birding for several years now I would know that answer.  But I guess I never gave it a thought. I spent an hour sketching a male and female Ring-necked Saturday afternoon.  When I get home I always check my Sibley’s and National Geo to see what I missed.  The faint spur on the female was the only thing I hadn’t notice.  And the following in NG’s description of the male – “narrow cinnamon collar is often hard to see in the field.”  What cinnamon collar?  I’ve never noticed one.

036
The cinnamon collar should be at the base of the neck. Not here. Meijer’s Pond, Marion County 3/14/15
039
OK, I can see a faint hint of cinnamon on the front of the neck. Barely. I’ll keep looking.

3. If you live in the Midwest, you need to find yourself either a cornfield by a river that floods or better yet, a cornfield that never drains.  I can’t tell you how many times I have found waterfowl or shorebirds in a field that retains its water.  My local one contained Canada Geese, Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup, and American Coots.  I looked for shorebirds but only Killdeer.  The only problem with a flooded field is that the waterfowl is usually on the side away from you and the shim makes it hard to see.

001
The local flooded field.

I also had Canvasback, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, and Hooded Mergansers at the local retaining ponds.

P1210101
Lesser Scaup
P1210112
Hooded Mergansers
P1210142
Sleeping Redheads
P1210093
Confused American Coots. Not sure which way to go.
1213
Canvasback

4. Sandhill Cranes like to stop and regroup. A lot.  I had 4 flocks totaling 600 birds fly over and only one group kept to the V pattern and kept moving.  The other three looped several times before making a rough V and flying on.

1272
Circling and circling.
1258
Starting to make a V.
1285
Finally half of the flock broke off and made a V. I mean a A.

And a few other photos.

P1210154
Mourning Dove
1204
Nice Day Sunday to be out in the sun.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *