I checked Pierce Lake today at lunch time and found 2 Common Loons on Pierce Lake. The ice has melted on Pierce Lake, but about 3/4 of Olson Lake still has a skin of ice.
Other birds on Pierce Lake: E. Phoebe, Tree Swallows, Pied-billed Grebe, 8 Common Goldeneyes, all 3 merganser species (1 Red-breasted and 17 Hooded), multiple Buffleheads and a few L. Scaup.
I went up to Shirland to see what waterfowl were at the Winter’s wetland today. I found hundreds of ducks and geese, but the heat haze made long-distance viewing difficult, even with the light quartering the wetland from the SE. Highlights were 21 Am. White Pelicans which flew up out of the marsh, circled higher and headed north around 10:00 a.m. Found 7 Blue-winged Teal, many Green-wings, over 200 N. Pintails, 60 Gadwall, 45 Am. Wigeon, Canvasbacks, a few Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, and both Lesser and Greater (2) Scaup. While I was there, 75 Greater White-fronted Geese arrived and landed. A number of Bald Eagles came and went, flushing ducks each time, plus a few Sandhill Cranes were flying and calling. Finally, a Tree Swallow made an appearance just before I left.
I drove to the Winslow Rd. bridge over Sugar River, by the campground, and had a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks doing a courtship display flight. Very nice!
Joyce and I visited the area around Dave Winters just before noon on Wed. 3-9-11. Found a brightly colored Red-Shouldered Hawk just west of the old red bridge over the Sugar River. There was a large flock of Rusty Blackbirds across from Stein’s House(Moody Marsh on Moody Rd.) and then Tom Little found 6 Tundra Swans on Baxter Rd. at the entrance to Kilbuck Forest Preserve.
This afternoon there were two Trumpeter Swans .5 mile south of Harrison near Harrison Road .When I approached them on a bicycle they flew NE toward Meridian Road.
Decided to check the Pec River lowlands for waterfowl this afternoon (in the rain). I drove past Nygren (didn’t stop; it was raining and the gate was locked) to Blodgett Road to Moody Road. Saw 5 Sandhills on Blodgett with a bunch of Canadas and a few White-fronts. Then, on to Moody, where there were many more Canadas with a lot of White-fronts (55), 5 Snow’s, 3 Ross’ and 7 Killdeer plus a really wet Kestrel.
More Canadas and White-fronts along Meridian Road S of the Pec River bridge, then over to Harrison and S to Oliver Road. Another 24 White-fronts in the fluddle on the N side of Oliver Road with a pair of Pintails and 1 drake GW Teal. 5 Woodies were in the south pond.
There were over 2000 Canadas in the cornfield at the 90 degree turn in the road, and there were about 1 White-front (based on heads sticking up) for every 100 Canadas. Only a few of the white-cheeked geese were Cackling.
Left Oliver Road, drove across the Pec river on Trask Bridge (hundreds more geese at Tipton’s restoration planting flood bottom on the north side just before the bridge) and out to Howard’s. Didn’t stop at Howard’s, but the pond on the west side had mostly Canadas with some Mallards. Didn’t see a white goose there, but it was raining pretty hard and I didn’t want to stop because of the traffic.
Finally, over and down to Pecatonica and out Blair Road to Maize Road to River Road over to Ridott. More Canadas and White-fronts. Highlights were 95 Rusty Blackbirds mixed in with a flock of Red-wings (150) and Starlings (80) along Maize Road, more Killdeer, a singing Song Sparrow, and 15 Turkeys. More White-fronts (30) flew over.
Today I’ve seen a Turkey Vulture, two small flocks of Sandhill Cranes, three Red-winged Blackbirds and a Purple Finch. Also, I’ve heard Bluebirds and Juncos singing.