A Trip to Reifel with Friends

It’s been a busy start to the year, and strangely we haven’t been to Reifel since January. We also haven’t seen our friends Stuart and Jo since they have their new baby, almost a month ago. So we killed two birds with one stone (so to speak…) and met Stuart, Jo, Sova and Matisse (for the first time!) at Reifel for a walk in the sunshine. This was their first time at the sanctuary, and Sova is at the perfect age for feeding the ducks. She had a pretty great time, or at least it seemed so.

An Anna’s hummingbird at the feeder near the entrance.We saw both types of hummingbirds that we get regularly over the course of our visit.

I’m going to post only the bird photos from the day. I never did get a chance to ask if they mind having them their kids plastered all over my blog, so I’ll err on the side of caution and leave them off for now. But there were lots of pics of ducks being fattened. Right at the entrance, as we were going in, the sandhill cranes were hanging out by the water. One of the new young males was putting on a bit of a show for the ladies, and chasing off the other males.

Just inside the front gate, the tree swallows were darting about, checking out the places to nest.

As we headed into the reserve, where the path splits to take you in different directions, a bald eagle was in the top of one of the big trees, pruning.

It was generally a pretty quiet day at the sanctuary. Most of the migratory species have headed north, and the nesting hasn’t really started yet. We did see some “new” birds to add to the official list.

A female brown-headed cowbird…

…and her male counterpart.

I actually think the female is a pretty little bird, in a subtle way.

Over the past year or so, the red-wing blackbirds have become much more trusting of people. You could always get the chickadees to feed from your hands, but the blackbirds were always much more skittish. That seems to be changing.

Another of our “new” birds for this year, there were a pair of gadwalls on one of the ponds. I think they are a bit late in heading north. Or maybe smart, given how cold it’s been.

On the drive in, we noticed an American Goldfinch along the driveway. As we were leaving, I spotted him again - in the bird bath, enjoying the water.

It was a fun day, and with the sunshine a very nice day to be out for a walk with friends.