Ridott (Stephenson County) & Rock Cut

Prompted by a post about White-fronted and Snow Geese on IBET, I drove over to Ridott yesterday afternoon.  I quickly found a very large flock of White-fronted Geese on the east side of Rock City Road about 1/4-1/2 mile north of Ridott.  Mixed in with them were some small white geese.  I counted 10 Snow and 8 Ross’ Geese. There was a smattering of Green-winged Teal, Mallards, and 5 Ring-necked Ducks.

Nieman Pond had the usual suspects, including about 24 Pintails and some Am. Wigeon and GW Teal.  Pairs of Sandhill Cranes are scattered about in various corn and soy fields.

The Horned Grebe continues at Rock Cut off of the Lions Club fishing pier in the SE part of the lake.  Also there were 18 buffleheads.  A pair of Pied-billed Grebes were about 100 yards out from the rock pile island near the dam.

Northwest Winnebago County on Saturday morning

Since we are having wonderful weather and south wind, I figured that there would be some Sandhill Cranes flying over or, perhaps, in their territories, so I headed out to northwest Winnebago County to look around.  Sue Merchant had already alerted me to the fact that she had seen 3 Sandhills along Telegraph Road by Nieman Marsh, on Thursday.

The Oliver Road oxbow fluddle no longer has much water.  Yesterday, John Longhenry had a Wilson’s Snipe there.  Today, I spotted 2, plus 3 Killdeer.  No ducks.

I could not locate the cranes at Nieman Marsh, but I did find 6 Cackling Geese and a Merlin at the small pond further west on Telegraph Road about 1/2 mile east of the town of Pecatonica.  At the eastern edge of town were 7 Killdeer.

Finally found a pair of cranes at Pecatonica Wetlands, right at the intersection of Blair and Best Roads.  A male Harrier was flying over the marsh on Blair Road.

Lake Summerset is still almost completely frozen.  There are a couple of small open spots of water on the north shore.  One had 4 Hooded and 6 Common Mergs.

I stopped at the Yale Bridge Road canoe launch (parking lot just E of the bridge) and had an adult Red-shouldered Hawk circling overhead and calling loudly the entire time I was there.  A Carolina Wren was singing from near the house up on the hill above the parking lot.

My last stop was Ferguson Forest Preserve.  I walked in about 1/4 mile along the river dike.  There were several hundred Canada Geese, but I couldn’t spot any other kinds of geese.  There were a few puddle ducks:  Am. Black Ducks (8), N. Pintail (12), Gadwall (26), and Green-winged Teal (9).  4 Sandhill Cranes flew in while I was there.