April 25, 2011
I had the chance to take a quick half-hour drive out onto the Refuge access road last evening - just before a big storm and the evening set in...and man the birds! I am always constantly amazed at the amount and the diversity of birds on this Refuge and the surrounding wetlands and grasslands. How often do you get to see over 15 species all within one quick pass over the habitat with your binoculars . . . Cinnamon teal (pictured below) and killdeer feeding next to American avocets, Franklin's gulls and Caspian terns. . . and flying by are Horned larks, American pipits and masses of Yellow-headed and Red-winged blackbirds. And not only are the numbers of birds amazing...but the plumage at this time of year is equally stunning. The gold of a meadowlark's breast or the jet of a Franklin's gull's head. The greening of the cattail enhancing the sunburst of a Yellow-headed blackbird's namesake. Stunning.
It is times like these, and opportunities to do such things, that remind me how lucky I am to have a job that combines my love for birds with the my care for the natural world around us. I wish everyone a happy spring and wherever you are - get outside and listen to the singing and enjoy the colors. I'm sure it'll put a smile on your face.