The Birds of Quivira (12 photos)

I introduced Quiriva National Wildlife Refuge in my previous post. By November the primary migration along the Central Flyway is declining. Yet we still saw thousands upon thousands of ducks, geese and Sandhill Cranes during a day visit.

Quivira Water FinalQuivira Water 5I didn’t bring a telephoto lens on the trip, so I rented an older Nikon 50-400. Between a misfitted lens and generally overcast skies, the quality of photos is lacking. So be it. This was my first visit to Quivira.

A couple of days before our visit, migrating Whooping Cranes returned to Quivira. While we did not see the cranes, we found plenty of fellow birders looking for this endangered species.

There were plenty of waterfowl and shore birds, even if most were out of camera range.

Quivira Water 10
American Avocet
Quivira Water 12
Quivira Water 9
Least Sandpiper
Quivira Water 8
Lesser Yellowlegs
Quivira Water 6
American Coot
Quivira Water 7
American Pipit

Even though I live east of the Mississippi River, I consider Kansas my home state. So I have an emotional connection to the birds of the prairie. The Western Meadowlark is the Kansas state bird. The call of the Northern Bobwhite is iconic. I can only imagine the photo opportunities in the spring at Quivira for birds of the prairie.

Quivira Land Final
Western Meadowlark
Quivira Land 2
Northern Bobwhite
Quivira Land 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Birds identified at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge November 5, 2016.

American Avocet, American Coot, American Robin, Bald Eagle, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Canada Goose, Dark-eyed Junco, European Starling, Field Sparrow, Great Blue Heron, Killdeer, Least Sandpiper, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Mallard, Marsh Wren, Northern Bobwhite, Northern Flicker, Northern Shoveler, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Redhead, Ring-billed Gull, Ring-necked Pheasant, Ruddy Duck, Sandhill Crane, Savannah Sparrow, Snow Goose, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-rumped Warbler




The Odd Couple (Five Photos)

There are more questions than answers in these photographs.


I bumped into this “odd couple” the same day I took the long range photographs of the Northern Flicker at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.


I have no idea why the Great Blue Heron and Woodchuck are hanging out together. I’m not exactly sure what the heron was hunting on bone dry terra firma. I certainly don’t know what disagreement occurred between the two. I mean, they wouldn’t even face one another.


I do know the woodchuck meandered off peacefully. Later the heron left quietly as well.



I carried a camera at a local middle school golf match. At the first hole I noticed a Great Blue Heron haunting a pond, camouflaged by rip rap and grey skies.

Distractions during a round of golf are as unwelcome as a malfunctioning fire alarm in a school. So when a loud splash interrupted a golf shot, everyone turned to give disapproving frowns to the culprit.

The guilty party didn’t seem to care. The heron was holding a Largemouth Bass weighing at least two pounds. I commented that, this time, the heron bit off more than he could chew. I should have known better. Like any other heron, this one ate the bass whole. It just took a little more effort than usual.