My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pea Island Work Day

Last week a group of us got together to weed out the flower bed in front of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. Since we don't start work until nine, I decided to spend the early morning checking out the birds. Birds are leaving us rapidly now and I'm hoping for new birds.  But so far, I've only seen ospreys coming back. 

I started down to the corner of the pond we can't see into from the Visitor Center. I found a few gadwall, some coots, a pair of northern shovelers, and a pied billed grebe. A cute juvenile white ibis looked like a yard ornament as it stood on the edge of the pond.  

Our official path goes through this tunnel of youpon and live oak- this is where the woodpeckers, sparrows, and myrtle warblers hang out

Gadwall and female bufflehead

I'm always surprised at how few coots we have - I'm used to seeing them by the hundreds in Texas

The shovelers are paired up

We see up to 40 white ibis at a time - but this was the  only one around

If you stand still a few  minutes at almost any pond, you'll see a pied billed grebe

I climbed up to the levy path, just at the end of the "tunnel" in time to catch our resident northern harrier flying over the pond.

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I was happy to catch this song sparrow  - it was a first for me at this location

We have black ducks which were new to me when I got here

After I took some pictures, I scanned the shoreline and was startled to see I had a pair of otter coming out of the water and moving towards me. I took several pictures, but this was my favorite.

Otter pair

And one blew me a bubble as he left

I pushed lots of yellow-rumped warblers in front of me.  When I stopped and stood quietly, they would again begin to pop up.  I think they are really cute but I get frustrated with them because they are so loud and active that I miss the quieter birds.

This one hid his yellow rump but I wasn't fooled

This one posed so I could see it was the myrtle subspecies.- people in the west
see yellow throats on their Audubon's subspecies. 

Buffleheads taking off

Birds that are gone include all our tundra swans, and avocets.  We still had a few pelicans left on last Sunday but I haven't seen them since. Our duck numbers seem to be diminishing also.

Then it was time to rush back to the  Visitor Center while I was already late. I snapped a few pictures then and later, we got the Visitor Center Volunteer to snap a picture of the entire group.  We still have most of the right side left to clear of bermuda grass.  That will be my job this week.

Clearing the flower beds - we display native flowers here

And we also grow native grasses

I've visited friends the last two weekends and will be having company this weekend, then will be packing to leave and leaving the first of April. I'll probably have to add a few extra blogs just to catch you up on all my adventures 

I'm joining Wild Bird Wednesday.  Click on the picture for more great blogs about wild birds from around the world.