Skip navigation

Tag Archives: ducks

The girls and I had a field trip day at the big river this week. Somehow, we picked the nicest day ever this year, so far. It got up to 64 and sunny with clear blue skies! I had hoped we might see or hear some cranes but no luck. I feel like they are late getting up here. We did see many herons and cormorants on their nests and flying back and forth. Also, a few raptors, lots of ducks, some loons (maybe some that we see during the summer in the Highlands?), killdeer, many blackbirds, a pair of grebes I have not identified (probably Horned or Eared) and others. And a beaver. Willow found lots of sticks and stinky things. And she likes to watch birds. Sky really just enjoyed the day, getting in and out of the river and finding her own sticks. If you look closely at the big nest near the end, you will see the top of the head of its resident.

Mallards are common ducks, seen frequently in many places. The ducks in these photos are hatch year males, males in eclipse plumage or females. I’ll leave it up to you to determine which. The photos are from three different days in roughly the same location.

As so often happens, my kayak allowed me to get fairly close to them (with a long lens in hand) without seeming to disturb them. I should have told them that in a relatively short time, people will be aiming shotguns at them. Not me.

Another lake, another Hooded Merganser, this one with a big family to care for.

Female goldeneyes are always hard for me to ID. There are two kinds – Barrow’s and Common. The males are easy to separate so if I see a female and male together, I often assume they are the same species. Last week we saw two females, one with ducklings and one on her own. Looking at the All About Birds site from Cornell University, I think both of these are Barrow’s Goldeneyes. But I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.

These images are from an August camping trip to the Okanogan Highlands.

%d bloggers like this: