From Robert Sewell near Sutter’s Landing Park, our neighbors to the west.
Goldeneyes on the River at Sutters Landing Park 1/22/13
Those of you who have seen my chronicles on the wildlife of the lower American River over the years, know how I’ve marveled at the little Goldeneye diving ducks, who spend their winters with us. They are one of the last to arrive but they add a splash of color before they fly back to the far north USA, Canada and Alaska to nest.
From these photos you can see why they have been so named, but it’s not as easy to see the males dark iridescent green heads. As striking as the males are now, I wonder what they look like in breeding season? Today the males where displaying by throwing their heads all the way back like some fancy dance.
When you come up to see them, bring your binoculars and a friend. Listen to hear their whistling wing beats as they fly by. They are shy, so enjoy the scenery while waiting for them to come your way. Good luck!
Any one know where they roost at night?
Another duck I saw looks like the female Golden Eye. It’s called the Pied-billed Grebe, also a diving duck, but even smaller. Some of them spend their winter in South America… Ah to have a ticket to Fly!
I saw several couples today such as the White-tailed Kites which could be heard vocalizing from across the river on the north bank. Probably discussing Michael’s inaugural party dress.
I saw a couple of handsome Green Herons, which I seldom see on the river.
A couple of stately Great Egrets few by a couple of times.
A couple plus one, Red-tailed Hawks did some fancy flight maneuvers high over the north bank.
A Belted Kingfisher was so noisy that is sounded like a couple having a republican verses democrat debate.
I saw a small flock of American Pipits feeding along the upper leeve road, but so far I haven’t see the large numbers I’ve seen in years past. For such slim little birds I marvel at the distance some of them migrate to nest in Alaska and even the Arctic. Sutter’s Landing is a welcomed habitat for migrators.
Finally I saw a loan Sea Lion working its way back down river, probably after another successful day of fishing.
My last sighting of the day was of a person flying above the west end of the Park, in a three-wheeler winged contraption! What a cool way to fly!
The Rive never disappoints an“open-eyed visitor!”
Robert, Friends Of the River Banks