Eagles, Swans and Geese

This past Sunday, the Gracious One and her husband invited me to go along with them on their trek to the Wildlife Refuge. We went last year too, but a week or so earlier in the month, remember? This year the weather was nicer – we had a mostly sunny day with above-freezing temperatures, although there was still a lot of ice on the waterways in the refuge which was not there last year. This year’s selection of birds was somewhat different too, as you shall see.

20130301-101808.jpg Have a goose or two, in this case Greater White-Fronted Geese (so named because of the white band at the top of their bills), but colloquially known in North America as Specklebellies. They are smaller than the Canada Geese, with shorter necks. Last year we saw more of the Canada Geese.

20130301-102008.jpg The first Bald Eagle we saw. This one had been preening, which is why so much of the white on his tail is showing up his back – the wing is still slightly raised.

20130301-102108.jpg Bald Eagle #2, sitting out there all by himself, looking majestic and in command. As well he should.

20130301-102159.jpg Two Balds and one Golden, no racial tension here!

20130301-102400.jpg There are five eagles in this photo – do you see them all?

20130301-102451.jpg There are five eagles in this picture, too, but sitting much more closely together. There appears to be only one Bald here, with four Golden. Or maybe juvenile Balds, I cannot be certain.

20130301-102642.jpg Tundra Swans gathering. Last year we saw only a few of these guys, but lots and lots of Snow Geese. This year we saw only a few Snow Geese.

20130301-102816.jpg A swan conversation. Perhaps more correctly a swan discussion. Doesn’t look like a casual, would-you-like-a-cup-of-tea conversation. Happily, the discussion ended peacefully. In front, there are some more of the Specklebelly Geese.

20130301-102950.jpg A peaceful channel, running through the reeds which harbor many more feathered beauties. The husband of Gracious One and his frisky little Boynkin Spaniel, Savannah, flushed several pheasants, but all flew past too quickly for me to capture with the camera.

Total eagle count for this trip was 50 – far more than last year, when we only saw a few Balds at ground level, and a pair of Goldens in some trees. I will never ever tire of visiting this refuge, admiring our feathered friends. A reminder of how fortunate we are to live in this area. A reminder of how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy days like these.

With that, I wish you a day, a weekend. of enough.

About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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13 Responses to Eagles, Swans and Geese

  1. Heather says:

    The birds are so beautiful. Tony and I have counted quite a few bald eagles in the wild this year, but there isn’t a refuge nearby to spot 50 (!!) at in one go.
    That melting ice is a sure sign of spring. We are still knee deep (at least) in snow, but I have heard the occasional song bird in the back yard in the last couple days, so even though the snow lingers, the light and birds are returning πŸ™‚


  2. lisa says:

    What a thrill to be able to see the eagles…of any kind! Great shots! They are so spectacular. Snow lingers here as well and the birds are draining the feeders daily!


  3. thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU for sharing your wonderful photographs. I don’t think I’ve seen 50 eagles in my whole life! What a remarkable experience!


  4. Cee Neuner says:

    Beautiful photos!!! That must have been amazing to see and be a part of.


  5. sjbchamp85 says:

    We love seeing bald and golden eagles while we’re in Oregon. No resident eagles where we live, but we have several variety of hawks. We’ll be back in your area — after the snow is GONE and the temperatures are WAY above freezing!!


  6. dawnkinster says:

    Wow. That must have been amazing. I saw one bald eagle at the beginning of the month when I was ‘up north’…he landed on the ice on Lake Michigan. And I’ve seen them a handlful of times, always one. How cool that you saw so many! It is a very special place you visited!


  7. Lynne Ayers says:

    You seem to know your birds, Carol. Must have been wonderful to see so many majestic eagles, and I particularly liked the swans …and that last marsh shot. Very nice.


  8. How interesting to see Bald and Golden Eagles perched in the same tree. Wonderful post, Carol.


  9. Kathy says:

    It’s such a gift when we can see these beautiful birds nearby. How lovely, Carol!


  10. Absolutely gorgeous photos, Carol! Thank you! I’m waiting for our local wildlife refuge to reopen after having so much snow ~ they’ve been closed. We, too, have bald eagles … but nothing so beautiful as your tundra swans!


  11. I can’t believe you saw 50 eagles, Carol! I love your pictures of this wildlife refuge. I always enjoy places like these. πŸ™‚


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