|Terry McNeely and I spent most of a beautiful day in the Sumner - Swan Lake area. We saw a Barred Owl perched on a power line on the way down. We were able to view the Garganey several times this morning between times when it was hidden out of sight.This bird was first spotted last evening by a new enthusiastic young Birder, and 10 year old daughter of the work campers staying currently at Swan Lake NWR. Thanks Omara! and Thanks to Al and Larry for their assistance in relocating the bird this morning.. LOTS of other stuff to look at as well! Ducks, Gulls, and Swallows all over. There were at least 2 American Bitterns along the road where the Garganey was hanging out. I spotted a Sora walking around out in the flood waters. The flock of Fish Crows increased to 17 when it was joined by two more! A few Forester's Terns were feeding over the flooded fields
along with all the Gulls. Water was overtopping many of the Levees and roads in the area. |
Next we checked out Swan Lake refuge where we found more roads under water, but lots more birds too! You can actually access the refuge from all three entrances, but can only go so far before there is water blocking the way where it has covered the roads. Be prepared to turn around. Best place was through north gate and then along west side of Silver Lake. From this way we had Snow Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, White Pelicans, GB Herons, Great Egrets, Bald Eagles, and more Coots, PB Grebes, Ducks, Gulls, and a large flock of Shorebirds flying around. We also saw a large herd of Deer, that Terry counted as they ran and came up with tally of 76! We saw another group of 30! No doubt the extensive flooding had forced them out in such large numbers. Driving down the west side of Silver Lake we had many Yellowlegs along the bottom of the Levee where the edge of the water was. Then we had a flock of Golden Plovers in the middle of the gravel road. Terry spotted 4 Black-crowned Night Herons almost hidden in some Button Bushes in the flood waters. We had American Pipit, Song,, Savannah, and Lark Sparrow on the north part of the refuge.
We then went to private WRP wetland across from east side of refuge. Here we found small flock of 7 Hudsonian Godwits, which flew off soon after we saw them. Remaining however were a couple of Baird's Sandpipers, and 350 Golden Plovers. These stayed when an immature Red-shouldered Hawk landed in a near by tree, but took off when the Peregrine Falcon came in.
Later we joined Brad Jacobs and Paul McKenzie at the north edge of Sumner where they were surveying more flood water filled with more water birds. Brad showed us the backyard where the Yellow-crowned Night Heron was they had found. There was also a single male Brewer's Blackbird back there. We looked for the Garganey again on the way before we headed home, but did not see it. Hopefully it will stick around for others to enjoy. Great Day!!
Chillicothe, Livingston Co.
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