Spectacular Day on the Refuge
July 17, 2016
One of the reasons I love Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge is the peaceful quiet setting. I went up on Wednesday to meet the new manager and ended up staying all….day….long…. It was simply put ~ a spectacular day.
After leaving the office, I looked around Lake Road to see what I could find. I thought this was a juvenile Pied-billed Grebe, but have since learned it’s a juvenile Coot!
A Great Blue Heron fishing caught my attention…I watched him until he flew off to ‘greener streams’.
Plenty of little birds filled the air with song. Cedar Waxwing above; little sparrow below.
I haven’t looked him up yet to see what he is. If you know, do tell!!
To my delight, I found a Yellow-headed Blackbird! And I heard Soras!! I crept around the reeds as quiet as could be and distinctly heard at least two & maybe three but they did not show themselves. I’ll be back soon to stalk them!
My next stop was the Kiosk area on the Glenwood Hwy. Early in the morning I heard plenty of Sandhill Cranes calling, but by mid morning I only found one pair. I became one with the field of grass hoping they wouldn’t see me. OH! See the vertical white splotches in the background? Too far away for me to get a decent shot, but there were at least 15 Great Blue Herons lined up across the field!
I usually see woodpeckers around the Kiosk, but did not. Instead I found a Western Bluebird, …
…and a House Wren. Last year there was an Oriole nest here, but alas I didn’t see any this time. There were also sparrows and Juncos flitting too fast for my heavy lens to follow.
The Canal area is another favorite area for me and I went there to check on the Wood Duck Family but didn’t find them. I found this little family though ~ Pintails?
A Western Meadowlark stood sentry at the Glenwood Hwy and Canal intersection.
See her? I almost missed her! And then her mate flew in….
…With TREATS! Western Tanager, yet another favorite. Isn’t he gorgeous?! Grasshoppers swarmed the canal area and filled the air with each step I took. Several flew into my open car windows, so I decided to move on.
No trip to the refuge is complete without a little drive down Kreps Lane.
Red-winged Blackbirds greeted me on fence posts.
Eastern Kingbirds posed for me.
While Swallows evaded me.
My last stop was off of Lakeside Drive and Outlet Creek. Greeted by a couple of Turkey Vultures, I found a shady spot and enjoyed my picnic lunch while watching them. Watching them watch me, that is!
I watched the birds at water’s edge … what’s better than a female Red-winged Blackbird?
A female Red-winged Blackbird with SNACKS of course!
My focus went to Dragonflies as they were everywhere!
I saw several varieties including these acrobats hanging out on reeds. My shots of red dragonflies turned out too blurry to share!
Other insects buzzed about including this one as well as a variety of butterflies.
A Killdeer foraged for food at the waters edge.
Then I noticed a pair of Sandpipers across from me.
And a Spotted Sandpiper ran across the grassy-covered mud right in front of me!
When the Canada Geese took off I decided it was time for me to do the same. Can’t wait to go back!!