I guess I was about 30 min behind Sam in Birding the Calumet area today based on sleet-start time-line.
My only "somewhat" addition to Sam's list relates to the Shrike. I only saw one and it was perched up on a snag along the state line road, Same Shrike, given the distance between sightings? My sighting was at about 10:45 a.m.
As Sam indicated, there were a lot of duck species (although I missed the Pintails, and my "counts" generally were lower).
Hope is the thing with feathers - that perches in the soul - and sings the tune without the words - and never stops at all. Emily Dickinson
From: samburckhardt <rawsbb@...
To: ILbirds <ILbirds@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sat, Mar 9, 2013 5:21 pm
Subject: IBET Calumet, WW Scoters, Snow Geese, et al, 3/9/13 AM
The day started with a very nice sun-rise over the lake, but by the time I reached Calumet, it started to sleet. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a very good morning. I started at Big Marsh, and one of my first birds was a NORTHERN SHRIKE. I have seen possibly the same bird at this location, however, it used to move around and out of sight very quickly. Today, it remained perched and sung beautifully.
An adult Bald Eagle was perched on the big dead tree just north of the entrance to Big Marsh. I didn't see any eagles on or near the nest over Lake Calumet.
My next stop was the end of Stony Island at the Little Calumet River. The ice was all gone and I didn't spot any unusual gulls. However, as far as I could see, there were 33 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS on the river, and possibly more just around the bends on either side. This must clearly be the year of the White-winged Scoters. This represents a record number for me for a location away from Lake Michigan. I saw more WWSC at Wolf Lake (1), at State Line Road (2), and at the Bend of the Little Calumet River (4). Also of note were 14 GREATER SCAUPS, and no Lesser Scaups. Other locations had only LESSER SCAUPS. Also present was a TRUMPETER SWAN with a yellow neck collar.
Nothing much at Indian Ridge. Alerted by Walter Marcisz's report about 5 SNOW GEESE at the 126th Street marsh, I stopped there and found them in among the Canada Geese. It seems to me that there were two adults and three juveniles, possibly a family group.
Wolf Lake had strong numbers of water fowl and some interesting gulls. Here is a list:
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 11
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) 33
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 8
Mallard (Domestic type) (Anas platyrhynchos (Domestic type)) 1
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) 2 m
Canvasback (Aythya valisineria) 12
Redhead (Aythya americana) 40
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) 2
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) 23
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca) 1
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) 4 pair
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) 4
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) 85
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 32
Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus) 1
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 100
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) 400
Thayer's Gull (Larus thayeri) 3 1 1st cycle, 2 ads
Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) 1 2nd cycle
At State Line Road I had 4 first-of-year fly-over KILLDEERS, and more ducks, in particular 93 CANVASBACKS.
My second to the last stop was at the Bend of the Little Calumet at 126th Street. Nothing out of the ordinary, other than a pair of WOOD DUCKS. It is worth a mention that the 400 plus LESSER SCAUPS were the only representatives of the Genus Aythya.
At the boat launch of Beaubien Woods, there were initially large numbers of ducks that were quickly flushed by a water taxi. And an AMERICAN HERRING GULL with pale under side of the wing.
Pictures of some of the birds are posted at http://www.ilbirds.com/index.php?topic=52576.msg84916#msg84916
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