Saturday, November 3, 2012
Nov 2, 2012: Erv's Field Notes #47
American Coots huddled on the south lake, 11/2/12 (Erv Klaas)
Friday, November 2, 2012, ll:30am-12:30pm, Cloudy, east wind, Temperature 44 degrees F.
Walked around the south lake starting at Calhoun Park next to Conley's Trucking Co. The first thing I saw as I got out of the car was two Bald Eagles soaring overhead. As I watched they drifted off to the south. As I walked west along the south shore I saw a large black object in the water moving towards the west shore. When I looked through the binoculars, I could see that the object was actually a flock of American Coots, swimming so close together that they seemed to be touching each other. When I reached the west side of the lake they were near shore and I was able to take a picture of them. In the field I estimated there was about 30 birds. When I got home and enlarged the photo on the computer screen, I counted 58. I have not seen coots do this before and I cannot explain why. By the time I completed the walk around the lake the flock was back along the south shore and still swimming close together.
Other birds seen on the walk: Canada Goose (1), Mallard (95 on Pond N near Stonebrooke), Hooded Merganser (4), Bufflehead (2), Ring-necked Duck (2), Pied-bill Grebe (5), American Crow, Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, Red-tailed Hawk, Tree Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and American Goldfinch.