Tag Archives: Water Bird

Pied-billed Grebe

Small and chunky, the Pied-billed Grebe always looks like a baby-faced juvenile to me.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

Last week several of them were swimming in the rice field canal. Saltbrush seeds from shrubs that lined the bank were drifting over the water.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

The lowering late afternoon light and growth on the opposite bank changed the look of the water as I proceeded down the canal.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

Further along the Saltbrush seeds looked like sparkly feathers floating on the water. Saltbrush, Baccharis halimifolia, is a woody shrub or small tree in the Asteraceae family, and is also known as Groundsel.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

Common Gallinule

I hear Common Gallinules more often than see them. Per All About Birds they “make all sorts of chicken-like clucks, whinnies, cackles, squawks, and yelps.” Needless to say, many a birder has jumped when that racket starts, often accompanied by one or more Gallinules running across the water to safety.  I often refer to them as the early warning system for other ducks and wildlife I might have been hoping to see.

Common Gallinule
Common Gallinule

These images were taken on different days, but in the same area. The stump in the image above is newly sticking out of the water as the rice field pond has been drained for repairs.

The red bill in the image below looks almost like fake plastic, but that is how they look. Bald Eagles will stalk Gallinules in this pond and I wonder how that beacon of red appears to them.

Common Gallinule
Common Gallinule

Double-crested Cormorants

A flock of Double-crested Cormorants was hanging out on a dead tree that has fallen into a pond on a recent sunny afternoon. When I first spotted them my view of the group was blocked by reeds, but this one had found a higher perch.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

As I worked my way along the bank I saw these two were having a squabble.

Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants

One exited with a big flap while the rest ignored him. You can see the bird from my first image near the top, towards the left.

Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants

As I rounded the end of the pond I was able to get a view from a different angle and closer to the water.

Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants

Possession

I didn’t see the shrimp arrive or which gull had it first.

Ring-billed Gulls with Shrimp
Ring-billed Gulls with Shrimp

The gull on the right was in hot and noisy pursuit when the possessor of the moment took to the air.

Ring-billed Gulls with Shrimp
Ring-billed Gulls with Shrimp

Unfortunately the shrimp broke apart.

Ring-billed Gulls with Shrimp
Ring-billed Gulls with Shrimp

Or not, if you are gull number two diving in for the recovery of what looked like the bigger piece.

Ring-billed Gulls with Shrimp
Ring-billed Gulls with Shrimp

White Pelican in Wood Stork’s Space

At first at seemed that the White Pelican had no interest in the Wood Stork as he casually paddled along.

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

But as he got closer I began to wonder.

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

Surely, the Wood Stork would have some kind of reaction.

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

I wish I could have seen this from another angle–did the Wood Stork reach into the Pelican’s beak?

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

Whatever happened, the White Pelican decided to move on, continuing to make a little flap about it.

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

The Wood Stork continued to pay no attention.

11/19/2018 Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

Brown Pelican Take Off

Brown Pelicans have learned to gather where Dolphins are strand feeding. They’ve figured out that fish can’t be far off and may be available for poaching.

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican at River’s Edge

I was watching this one as he artfully took off.

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican

And swooped out over the river.

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican

I didn’t realize until he turned and landed that I was missing a Dolphin strand feeding.

Brown Pelican Watching Dolphins Strand Feed
Brown Pelican Watching Dolphins Strand Feed