I was able to spend 5 hours on my way back from Montana, on Friday, April 13th at Loess Bluffs NWR (formerly Squaw Creek).
I spent nearly all my time near, Snow Goose Pool, Pintail Pool and Mallard Marsh. All three have good habitat for migrant shorebirds.
The day list featured a total of 56 species including: 24 Hudsonian Godwits, 12,000 Blue-winged Teal, 2 Cinnamon Teal, 38 Am. Avocet, 2 Short-billed Dowitcher, 380 Long-billed Dowitcher, 2 Wilson Phalarope, 2 Stilt Sandpiper, over 500 Wilson Snipe, 150 Baird’s Sandpiper, 600 + Pectoral Sandpipers, 30 Least Sandpiper, 2 Semipalmated Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 18 Am. Golden Plover, along with scads ( that’s a scientific term… :) of Lesser & Greater Yellowlegs. Because I have flown to Rio Grande on Tierra del Fuego and taken the train to Churchill specifically to film HUGO -they remain one of the species I cannot get over . Every time I see them, I feel the great pull of the zugenruhe.
Great-tailed Grackles showed up at 14, and among the 20,000 other blackbirds, were scattered Brewers, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and a few Yellow-headeds as well.
Surprised by the number of ducks and well over 3,000 Snow/ Ross’ Geese.
Having driven in from Montana, I can tell you other than the rivers there is no open water up north. I thought I was “escaping” winter, but it seems to have followed me.
Birdman Productions LLC
Choteau, MT 59422
“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.