Dawson Creek Park

Today I graduated from the waterfowl ID for beginners class at Audubon. Life beyond mallards is good.

I’m still a novice birder, but some tricks are beginning to stick like, where’s the white on the duck? How big is the bill in relation to the head? Is the duck dabbling or diving? What habitat is the bird in? I asked myself these questions as we birded in the rain at Dawson Creek Park.

Watching Wood Ducks on a log

Watching Wood Ducks on a log

What a beautiful couple

What a beautiful couple

Green-winged Teal- note the white vertical line on the shoulder.

Green-winged Teal- note the vertical white line on the shoulder.

Mutt Ducks, what they lack in pedigree, they make up for in personality.

Mutt Ducks, what they lack in pedigree, they make up for in personality.

American Wigeon- dainty blue-gray black-tipped bill, buffy stripe on top of head; horizontal line at the folded wing (visible here, but not always); white and black rump.

American Wigeon- dainty blue-gray black-tipped bill, buffy stripe on top of head; horizontal line at the folded wing (visible here, but not always); white and black rump. Female lacks the white stripe on forehead, but shares the dainty bluish bill.

We also saw not-ducks!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

fluffed up Brewer's Blackbird (Beer Bird?)- new bird! male, distinctive yellow eye, long thin black bill

Brewer’s Blackbird (Beer Bird?)- new bird! male, distinctive yellow eye, long thin black bill

Female Brewer's Blackbird; unmarked, drab gray-brown, dark eye.

Female Brewer’s Blackbird; unmarked, drab gray-brown, dark eye.

Red-winged Blackbirds have become my photo-buddies.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

A special treat on this trip was a visit to the resident Acorn Woodpecker granary tree. And with the tree came Acorn Woodpeckers! Another new bird! And what a fun, curious bird with such a complex social structure.

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker

I could watch them all day.

But there are more birds to bird!

Audrey

P.S. Birder-lingo I learned today: Dip– to miss out on finding a bird you were looking for; as in, we dipped at seeing a Northern Shoveler today.

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