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The main roads were in pretty good shape today between snow showers, except
the gravel/dirt roads in the refuge itself--they were like jello on a
mirror.  (The top 2 or 3 inches thaws quickly while that immediately under
remains frozen solid.)  The water, including the river, was about 80% ice
covered.

Anyway:
First, for the past two weeks I have seen no activity around the eagle's
nest and only saw one eagle today; it was a juvenile.

There were about 50 small-race Canada Geese mixed in with the large ones.
When seen in close proximity, they really do look very different, besides
just size.  (Lewis & Clark thought they were of the Brant family.)

32 Greater White-fronted Geese, also with Canadas although they usually hang
out with the Snows.

20-25 Common Golden-eyes were displaying in a small area of open water.
They were difficult to count accurately because they were constantly bobbing
up and down (it looks like they do this in a set pattern--has anyone else
noticed it?).

I estimated 750 Ring Necks in the marshy area to the north of Schell Lake.

A pair of Pintails--the drake was patrolling on the edge of the ice close to
where the hen was swimming, perhaps to protect her from the boisterousness
of the Golden-eyes, because they were all in the same little patch of open
water.

A Killdeer was also walking around on the ice.

There was so little open water that they were all having to share what
little there was.  When you saw one bird, you saw several.

Unfortunately, I did not find the possible Broad-winged Hawks that Jan Neale
reported Tuesday and I possibly saw but did not report last Saturday.

Migration is starting--no telling what is to be found on any given day.

Dorothy Lambert




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