Friday, February 09, 2018

Morning Routine This Week - Lots of Water Birds

Being a nomad screws up any sort of regular routine.  Since mid-November we've been in Anchorage   a little over three weeks.  But the trade off is time with family, particularly grandkids, mostly the one in Seattle.

This week my routine was to drive her to her school by 8:30 and then spend about 30 minutes walking the loop in the park across the street.  And so I've been noticing the most obvious birds:

  • mallards
  • widgeons
  • geese
  • robins
  • gulls
I can't tell if there is one flock each of the water birds that are spread over the park, or more smaller ones.  The geese and widgeons spend time in the water and on the lawns.  

As we left Anchorage last week I was looking at the cases with the stuffed ducks and geese and noticed that the greater and lesser Canada geese looked very similar, but one was larger.  Another man pointed out which ones he'd hunted and said he'd gotten a greater Outside, that the ones in Anchorage were lesser. I'd always thought they were pretty big, but now I'm not sure.  

This pair announced itself from a distance as they flew to this pond.  There was already a flock in the pond and one goose started honking in response.  After they landed one of the new geese and the responder goose swam towards each other necks out low along the water.  They seemed to have a little challenge match and then everyone seemed to get along.  

The American widgeons move from pond to pond and also wander out on the lawn.  They also seem to mix with the mallards.  Just eyeballing it, I'd say there are more geese and widgeons than mallards.  

The mallards seem to stay mostly in the water.  I find myself dismissing mallards because they are so common.  But when I look through the camera, I'm always reminded how beautiful they are.  If every human were really beautiful, would we stop noticing?  

The robins run in crowds (are they a flock?) on the lawns, poking through the leaves for worms and other tasty bugs.  

There are other birds.  Most notably the other day there were buffleheads and ring-necked ducks.  If you look above at the mallard, they are true ring-necked ducks while the ring-necked ducks have rings on their beaks, not necks.  

The buffleheads are in the back and the ring-necked duck is up front.  I thought it was a scaup until I looked more carefully on line.  I'm not that familiar with the ring-necked ducks which have a similar color scheme to the scaup.  

Here's a better picture of the ring-necked duck.  

There are also lots of smaller song birds that flit around or sing from the bushes or trees.  But they are much harder to get on camera.  This one isn't a bad picture, but it's not much good for me to identify.  It was singing away up there.  

I also got a couple of bike rides in to a small beach on a tiny road where you can sit and listen to tiny waves and find nice shells and rocks.  Yet another similar duck - black with a white belly, was swimming out in the salt water - a golden eyes.  

And from that beach I could see downtown Seattle about 9 miles across the water.  With an Evergreen  container ship in-between.  

Enough for now.  Tomorrow the three boys each have soccer games in different locations.  I'm driving the youngest to Olympia for his game and luckily, some old friends from Anchorage live nearby and will come out to join us.

And I had to check up on this rule about stopping for school buses.  I did stop, but I wasn't sure if I had to when I was on the other side of the street.  This is for Washington State.
 "If you're on a two-lane road, both directions need to stop. If you're on a road with three or more lanes, you need to stop if you're traveling in the same direction as the bus. If you're traveling in the opposite direction, you can keep going."
There were a couple of days we came upon the school bus with flashing lights on the other side of the street.  On a two lane road.  


  1. So I want to know if their goose and duck poop problem is as bad as ours at Cuddy Park?

    1. No. These are smaller flocks. (This went into the spam folder for some reason. And the one about the creepy story too.)


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.