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.