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.)
White-front geese near Antioch Bridge.
Another common site on the way to Mayberry in late winter is goats grazing on the levees. This levee maintainance is a necessary evil.
Levee goats 3-14-11.
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.
Here's something new at Mayberry, Canada geese. Maybe they'll hang around to nest, if they can find a bush to hide behind.
The weather was not good for photography, so I drove around the levees hoping to find something encouraging. A kildeer posed for me.
Kildeer are something else that's new.
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.
These geese made a lot of noise.
The specs came by even closer.
White-front geese at Sherman Island
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.
Pintail drake over Mayberry.
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.
The goldeneye live on the slough, but seldom travel over the ponds.
It’s almost time for the goldeneye to depart northward. They’ll be back again next Thanksgiving.
Cliff swallows are ever present at Mayberry.
Cliff swallows are tough to photograph in flight.
Antioch Bridge view from Mayberry.
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.
Snowy egret hunting.
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.