White front geese greeted me on the way to Mayberry. I recall seeing them at this same small pond during March of previous years – one of their last hangouts before they head north. (Click to enlarge photo.)
Another common site on the way to Mayberry in late winter is goats grazing on the levees. This levee maintainance is a necessary evil.
Maybe the goats are early enough that the cover can recoup in time for pheasant nesting season. The levee is the only part of the property that has suitable cover for nesting.
The weather was not good for photography, so I drove around the levees hoping to find something encouraging. A kildeer posed for me.
I imagine we’ll have kildeer for a year or two, until the habitat matures. Then they look for another site with no cover.
A look at the neighboring pasture, brought back memories of the days when we had seasonal marsh.
A look at the Mayberry ponds was discouraging.
Mayberry’s ponds held a few ducks in the remaining shallow spots, but most of the ponds were deep and void of waterfowl use.
A flock of snows passed by and then a larger flock of white-fronts lifted off to the west and passed overhead.
The specs came by even closer.
Waterfowl was evident all around, but mostly not using Mayberry.
A few sprig were using the shallowest portion of the ponds. As the skies lightened, I got a pretty good photo of one passing by.
Light conditions were very poor for photography of birds in flight, but the sun did come out to illuminate this pintail.
A few attempts to photograph the goldeneyes of Mayberry slough resulted in one pretty good shot.
It’s almost time for the goldeneye to depart northward. They’ll be back again next Thanksgiving.
Cliff swallows are tough to photograph in flight.
I suppose the swallows make their nests on the bridge.
Along the Sacramento River bank, I photographed this snowy egret. He showed well on a gray day.
He lifted off and the photo in flight came out pretty well too.
Things will improve at Mayberry as the habitat matures. It’s interesting to see how wildlife use changes with the habitat.