April 24, 2017 Malhuer NWR, Oregon

Abandoned Ranch
Abandoned Ranch

More From Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge

Ruddy Drake
Ruddy Drake

Always get a kick out of the male Ruddy Duck and his sky blue bill during breeding season.

Redhead Pair
Redhead Pair
Redheads Takeoff
Redheads Takeoff

Plenty of ducks encountered this week while driving through the refuge and was able to get a few decent flight shots when there was enough light, lots of overcast mornings.

Ring-neck Drake Takeoff
Ring-neck Drake Takeoff
Mallard Drake in Flight
Mallard Drake in Flight
Gadwall Takeoff
Gadwall Takeoff
Cinnamon Teal Pair
Cinnamon Teal Pair

This pair of Cinnamon Teal have been found on this spot every day this week, so I assume she is sitting on some eggs.

Cinnamon Teal Drake
Cinnamon Teal Drake
Avocets
Avocets

American Avocets hunting along the flooded fields.

Long-billed Curlew
Long-billed Curlew
Sandhill Crane
Sandhill Crane

This Sandhill was one of several pairs out hunting the flooded cow pastures along the highway.

Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk

A completely drenched Ferruginous hawk manning his roadside hunting perch during one of this week’s showers.

Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk

The look says it all, he doesn’t care for this weather any more than I do.

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January 23, 2015 Fort Yuma Reservation, California

Fort Yuma Reservation Campsite
Fort Yuma Reservation Campsite

A New Home for a Few Days

Packed up and moved out of the LTVA at Imperial Dam around noon yesterday, dumped my tanks there and filled with water, then drove 15 miles southwest to the road along the All American Canal off Picacho Road on the Fort Yuma Reservation. Drove in 1/2 mile and managed to make a uturn, barely enough room for that, and set up overlooking the agricultural fields. Am a little nervous being out here by myself although there are 5 others camped out just past the road intersection only 1/4 mile away.

This area is patrolled by the Quechen Fish and Game folks and one of their polite officers knocked on my door and asked to see my permit not long after I shad set up camp. I explained that I saw no signs and was unaware a permit was needed. He was very helpful and friendly and explained that he could write me a permit and that I could either pay $10/night or $80 for SEVEN months ( that’s pretty reasonable ). Since I am only going to be here a few days, I wrote him a check for $30 and he issued me a permit to cover 5 days here, kind of nice on his part.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Sunset at Fort Yuma Reservation Campsite
Long shadows of unset at my Fort Yuma Reservation Campsite

As you can see from the image above, this site is just barely off the road paralleling the All-American Canal and overlooks agricultural fields with Yuma in the distance. It turns out to be a pretty quiet spot with very few vehicles using the road and the only noise at night was a barking dog down at one of the few houses scattered throughout the agricultural field below the site. Although I did feel a little vulnerable here, quite exposed with no one terribly close by, I had no problems here at all and I did leave the site unattended for a couple of trips into Yuma. It is much more convenient to Yuma itself than the Imperial Dam LTVA, being only 5 miles to I-8.

Canvasback takeoff
Canvasback takeoff

And the ducks I had discovered here previously were now just outside the door.

Canvasbacks
Canvasbacks
Ring-necked duck
Ring-necked duck

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I believe ( I am keeping my fingers crossed ) that my ability to do blog posts in a timely manner has finally, after a month of frustration, been resolved. For those of you who follow this blog, you may have to re- bookmark the page to this new address:    ramcquade.com

January 20, 2015 Imperial Dam LTVA, California

Ringneck ducks takeoff
Ringneck ducks takeoff

Sitting Around Waiting for Appointments

I have to admit to getting a little bored sitting around here just north of Yuma. Still have a week or more to go since the HWH replacement hydraulic jack has yet to come in at Sun Bums, and my appointment for a lube and oil at Fisher Chevrolet is next Tuesday. Usually I can keep myself entertained by finding decent birding spots and settling in to do bird photography, but I just haven’t found any place around here where there is any decent action. Even my hummingbird attempts have had to be abandoned due to a steady assault of bees taking over my feeders. So, while I am anxious to head on down the road, I still have more time to kill here in Yuma.

Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher

The little golf course at Hidden Shores turns out to be a pretty reliable spot to consistently find these very colorful Vermillion Fly( moth? )catchers. This most likely is the same individual I got a few shots of a week ago on the same post. I found a couple more of them as I wandered into the horse pen/trailer storage area off the parking lot there as well. In the bottom image, you can see him shaking the” moth chalk” off his lunch before downing him.

Canvasback takeoff
Canvasback takeoff

This is a new one for me, a canvasback duck, caught taking flight from the waters of the All American Canal in Bard, Ca., about 10 miles west of where I am presently staying.

Takeoff!
Takeoff!

He was accompanied by a pair of Ring-necked ducks and a Bufflehead drake as well as several other Ring-necks. This part of the canal is one of the few places I have seen any sizable number of ducks gathering, but, unfortunately, one is not able to get terribly close to them as the canal is fringed with a dense cover of phragmites and there are No Trespassing signs all along the canal.

Ringneck ducks takeoff
Ringneck ducks takeoff
Ringneck and canvasbacks
Ringneck and canvasbacks

Still, it was nice to be able to at least have an attempt at getting some action shots after such a long period of inactivity. I am really looking forward to heading east and up in elevation to some of the better birding locations in Arizona as soon as I am done with all my appointments here in Yuma.

Ringnecks and canvasbacks
Ringnecks and canvasbacks

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When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


My blog posting problems finally resolved? I believe ( I am keeping my fingers crossed ) that my ability to do blog posts in a timely manner has finally, after a month of frustration, been resolved. For those of you who follow this blog, you may have to re- bookmark the page to this new address:    ramcquade.com