Sunday, January 13, 2008

Good Ol' Palmetto........, Again

Ever since the Short-eared Owls arrived at Nixon Farm, 5 miles NW of the Palmetto region of Greene County, I have been convinced that I can pull something rare out of the short winter grasses and agricultural fields of Palmetto. Before I head out, I dream of Prairie Falcons, Lapland Longspurs, Smith's Longspurs, or perhaps another Northern Shrike.

And so, the last two days I have spent part of my weekend searching for that rare bird, whatever it is. Even though I have not uncovered that super special casual or accidental species, I have managed to spot a couple of bird species that I would consider rare for our immediate Springfield area. Here are my favorite finds of the weekend.
Yesterday the normally dry fields of Farm Road 166 were flooded and 500 Canada Geese settled in the inundated corn field. Among the geese I spotted around 30 Mallards, 6 Gadwall, 3 Northern Shovelors and 5-7 Cackling Geese. I tried to take some photos of a single Cackling right next to a Mallard for the size comparison, but the image came out very blurry, so I settled for what I think are three Cackling Geese in the foreground among the big geese behind. One's profile is apparent.

Today, I spotted 6 Rusty Blackbirds in a flooded woodland in the same area. This head of the bird in this photo looks odd, but I think it was snapped just before he took off. Seconds later I saw the Wild Turkeys in a distant field.
Other birds of note for the weekend included two Short-eared Owls, three Northern Harriers, one Loggerhead Shrike, and one Harlan's Hawk.


Larry said...

I've never seen a Northern Shovelor and would like to.-I was shocked when I saw a Cackling Goose for the first time. I wondered if I would be able to tell it apart from the other canada's and laughed when I finally saw how small it was.

Greg said...

I'd trade you a Northern Shovelor and throw in a whole lot more for that Purple Sandpiper!

N8 said...

That camera takes some pretty nice photos but you still get a fair bit of distortion around the edge on that scope of yours...

See if Mom will let you get a new one. : )

@Larry- You're dead right about Cacklers, I was amazed too how obvious they are once you see them.

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