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I had a little bit of unexpected time this afternoon and drove to Swan
Lake on Hwy 11 and went in the southeast entrance, expecting to go all
the way through.  That road is under water at the west side of Silver
Lake.  Silver Lake has a lot of water, but today had no waterfowl and
no shorebird habitat.   So I went around the north side and south on a
road that turns west to headquarters.  At a right turn there is a road
closed to motor vehicles that continues south.  I walked a ways and
set up my scope.  I could see as many as 25 great egrets, and lots of
shore birds and ducks, but they were beyond id range for me.  I
decided to go on and perhaps come back and hike in, but it got too
late and I'll need to do that  another day.  Between there and
headquarters there were two more places where mud flats were visible
from the road, one close, south of the road, and one east of the road,
almost beyond scope range.  At that one I saw a Caspian Tern, and
beside it a very much smaller tern and another 25 or so great egrets.
The next mud flat is close to the road, but it had only a great number
of killdeer and a solitary Solitary Sandpiper.  At headquarters I
walked the short footpath to the site of the Grand River Audubon Big
Sit.  The usual spot is underwater, but I think there is enough space
between the water and tree line for a new one, if the water does not
rise any more.   There should be great waterfowl viewing by October!
There were a few scattered Pelicans  and a couple of dc cormorants
there today.  The footpath was birdy with catbird, peewee, blue-gray
gnatcatcher, red-bellied wp, goldfinches, indigo buntings, bc
chickadees, carolina wren and a barred owl.

June Newman
june at binmail dot net
Carroll County

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