Saturday, March 21, 2009

looking for birds in southern Nebraska

as we continued to explore country roads south of Kearney,
we also got our exercise
here we got off the bus to make sure it could make its way up the hill -- it did!  

it was exciting to come upon this large flock of American White Pelicans
followed by gulls looking for left-over fish

the knobs on their bills appear only during mating season

this picture may look boring to you, but was exciting for me
in addition to the Canada & Snow Geese, to the left of center was a first for me:
a Greater White-fronted Goose

another first for me were these Great-tailed Grackles --
they rarely come as far north as Minnesota

in Funk, Nebraska, we came upon this pair of Eurasian Collared-Doves
believed to have come to the U.S. from Cuba
they are currently expanding into Minnesota

Friday evening we walked to a bridge over a section of the Platte River
hoping to see Sandhill Cranes flying in to roost for the night

the number of Cranes was surprisingly small
perhaps they were waiting until after sunset

nearby was another of the many Bald Eagles along the Platte

things became more exciting when it decided to fly toward us

I'm not sure what it was looking for, but was glad when it flew past us

as the sun dipped below the trees, thousands of Cranes were still high in the sky

we spotted this deer on an island behind us

the cranes just kept flying in

more to come