Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dead Great Blue Heron

Birded Burke Lake this morning with the NVBC. Results were variable but it wouldn't have mattered to me if we'd only seen an empty lake... it was just that beautiful today. We did manage to see a gorgeous White-crowned Sparrow, Brown Creeper, Red-shouldered Hawk, Common Loon, and Bonaparte's Gulls. But the most news-worthy sighting was a dead Great Blue Heron hanging in the trees across the lake (on the island where the rookery is). It was a hauntingly sad discovery, and as much as I didn't want to look or take pics, it seemed a good idea to record the moment.

After lunch, I joined Donald Sweig and Ralph Wall for some Riverbend Park birding. We were mostly on the lookout for ducks (and the recently-reported Goldeneye!), and though the Goldeneye and Surf Scoter were nowhere to be found, we were still quite pleased with the results. Ruddy Duck, Gadwall, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Mallard, Black Duck, and a bounty of Buffleheads entertained us for 2 full hours. Perhaps the most extraordinary viewing of the day, though, was the male Hooded Merganser. I'd seen Hooded Mergansers before, but they were either juveniles or females. So today's male was a real treat for me. Thanks to both Donald and Ralph for letting me hog their scopes!

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