Rock Cut SP shorebirds

Each fall, IDNR lowers Olson Lake.  The draw-down leaves a wide ring of mud flats on the edges and exposes a large mud flat at the eastern end of the lake.  These are attractive to migrant shorebirds.

On Friday, October 7, Eric Secker, a birder from Elgin, found 3 Long-billed Dowitchers and a Stilt Sandpiper, plus both yellowlegs, Pectoral, Spotted, Solitary  and Least Sandpipers. Eric also reported a Cooper’s Hawk and 2 Osprey.

Phil Doncheck and I stopped there on Saturday, October 8 around 3:00 pm.  We were unable to relocate the Stilt Sandpiper, but we saw 1 Long-billed Dowitcher, 3 Greater and 5 Lesser Yellowlegs, 12 Pectoral, 1 Stilt, and 1 Solitary Sandpiper, and a Wilson’s Snipe.  We counted 56 Killdeer.  A Cooper’s Hawk flushed all of the shorebirds as we were scoping them.

There are also a number of puddle ducks over the two days, such as American Wigeon, Blue- and Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, and many Wood Ducks and Mallards.   3 Coots and 3 Pied-billed Grebes were there on Saturday, plus 2 Ruddy Ducks toward the western end of the lake.

If you are at Rock Cut, please check the Olson Lake mudflats and report any shorebirds or other interesting species.  A telescope is necessary.