Pintails and Coots and Grebes, oh my!

My current cold is all up in my head (never made it into my chest), and the antihistamines seem to help with stuffiness – but they make me logy.  I knew I needed to get outside and get some exercise and fresh air, so around 9:00 am I went over to the Cosumnes River Preserve and walked for a while, working up a sweat which I hope will push out the cold germs…  Things are starting to get a little more interesting at the refuge as more birds migrate in.  Lots of the “usual suspects” like Pintails, Northern Shovelers, Mallards, Coots, Cinnamon Teals, Sandhill Cranes, geese, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Gadwalls, a Great Blue Heron and the like.  I also saw a lot of Phoebes for some reason; they were all over the place.  There were Buffleheads there, too, today: the males with their iridescent purple/green heads and females with their little white eye patches…  And I saw Piebald Grebes and my very first Western Grebe.  (I’ve seen photos of them, but never saw one “live” before.)  They were too far away to get good shots of them, but I did get some mediocre shots.  I need to get one of those monster camera with the telephoto lens as long as my arm…

One of the creepiest things I saw today was in a shallow part of the wetlands near the boardwalk where some freshwater Segment Worms were wriggling around.  Eeew!

Here’s a short video of them

I only last about 90 minutes walking and then was so exhausted I had to head back home.  Colds make my body wussy…  Oh, on the way out of the refuge I also followed a gorgeous American Kestrel across the railroad tracks and down an agricultural road.  It kept teasing me…  Stopping just ahead of me, waiting until I caught up to, then flitting off to another perch down the road.  I finally got it to stop – only briefly – in the top of a tree, and got some photos but they’re not terrific.  Beautiful bird, though!

Also, on the way home, I saw a semi truck hauling cattle feed.  It must have been a privately owned rig because the license plate read: MOO FOOD.  Hah!