Friday, March 6, 2015

A Saturday at Home

After a nice bout of travel, it's sometimes good to have a weekend at home.  This Saturday was cold, but clear, and I had been meaning to get my scope out to see what kind of ducks are on the River.

I proposed to Justin that we walk over to the Wrightsville side of the River, where the open water is.  This involves crossing the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge twice and walking up and down the riverfront, making all three legs of the walk great for bird watching.

On the way over, I noticed a nice flock of birds at the ice/water boundary.  My camera proved these to be Common Goldeneye.  As we reached Wrightsville and walked south to the boat accesses, we saw a juvenile Cooper's Hawk looking for a snack in the neighborhood trees.

At the Lemon Street boat access, a pair of Canvasbacks were close by.  Other ducks seen were Hooded Mergansers, Red-Breasted Mergansers, Ring-Necked Ducks, and lots of Buffleheads.  

Canvasbacks, with their long sloping bills, have an unmistakable profile.  I had heard that up to 50 were on the River here, but these two were the only ones visible.

For a cold day, a lot of the birds seemed to just say, "Forget it, I'm acting like its spring."  Titmice were singing their spring songs, Chickadees were flitting all over, and Fish Crows were calling from high in the trees.

Another bird that's coming north, nevermind the snow, is the American Robin.  There were quite a few cavorting along the shoreline.  I have heard that stoneflies are hatching now, making for something of a bonanza by the waterline.  

As we walked back across the bridge near sunset, I noticed another fairly large flock on the River.  Ahhhh, here were all of the Canvasbacks.  That profile is noticeable even at very long distances!

As we finished our walk, the last rays of the sun illuminated the new 1930s-style bridge lights, and brought a small flock of Canada Geese into silhouette in the far background.  What a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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