Readers’ wildlife photos

Today’s photos come from biologist Joe Dickinson, who needed an escape from Halloween. His captions, IDs, and explanations follow:

A Halloween escape down the coast (because our d*g is driven crazy by the doorbell or even just a knock) yielded only a couple of decent wildlife photos, including the last in this set (setting sun with pelican), so I decided to put together a collection of favorites featuring birds at sunrise/sunset.

First are some sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) settling in for the night on the South Platte River in Central Nebraska.

Here are some the bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) that gather to winter at Farmington Bay, a freshwater area created south of a railroad causeway across the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

A silhouetted eagle in that same area.

And a hawk, probably a northern harrier (Circus hudsonius), again in the same area.

I believe this is a marbled godwit (Limosa fedoa). It’s at Stinson Beach, north of San Francisco.

My notes say this is a willet (Tringa semipalmata), also at Stinson Beach.

Gulls, probably mostly western (Larus occidentalis) by the mouth of Aptos Creek at Seacliff Beach, where I walk most mornings.

Ross’s geese (Chen rossii) and/or snow geese (Chen caerulescens) at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.

My notes say white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) at that same refuge.

Assorted coots, ducks and geese, same refuge.  Hard to be more specific given the lighting.

Cormorants, probably double crested (Phalacrocorax auritus), back at Aptos Creek.

And finally, a couple of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) flying into the sunset.  The first is at Cambria, on the central coast,  a few years ago and the other is this Halloween at a little town called Marina between Monterey and Santa Cruz.


13 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Some very nice photos. I could look at those Sandhill cranes if I just drove a couple hundred miles north at the right time of year.

  2. Beautiful set – the last pic is especially magnificent, an image of the sun after it is below the horizon, and — dare I say it — a touch of green in the lightrays skimming right above the water?

  3. These are all gorgeous. It’s hard to pick a favourite. Maybe one of the pelican photos.

    By the way, the bird identified as a willet appears to me to have far too long a bill to be that species. It looks like another (or the same) marbled godwit.

    1. I was just about to say the same thing as Paul Matthew said: bill much too long to be a willet. Short legs maybe means it isnt a godwit (unless the water is deeper than it looks). Any other guesses?

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