Raptor Rapture Field Trip 1-12-2019

For some reason I thought we should stop by Garden Home Park to watch the Barrows Goldeneyes. We got out and suddenly they started flying past….about 50.  They are so good looking.  Velda picked up on the head shape difference between the Common and Barrow’s Goldeneyes pretty quick. There were some geese swimming up along the Bank and one was about 30% smaller and had a short stubby bill, I asked if they could see one that looked different.  Yes!  It was a Cackling Goose.  Then as we were about ready to leave there was another small goose coming into view, but wait….it was a Greater White-fronted Goose and it even stood up and flapped, we could see the breast markings.  Sweet.  It was a life bird for both Velda and Laura. And easy to photograph!  Later, as we were heading down the river road below Ulm we saw a small bird…. it looked like it was carrying something grasped in its feet.  It landed in the stubble… a Shrike!  It then came closer as it landed on the fence wire, but left the prey behind.  Again, we had good looks for a minute.  It finally flew off, but without the mouse/vole.  It was another life bird for Laura.  How often can you introduce several life birds to two people in one day?  We saw at least 20 species including 3 Wild Turkeys, 8 Rough-legged Hawks, the first two were very dark, one Red-tailed Hawk, several Bald Eagles, two distant Golden Eagles, a Merlin, and a couple thousand geese.
Beth Hill

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