Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 29, 2013: Erv's Field Notes #55

Crows at sunset over the central pond. 3/28/13 (Kevin Kane)

Friday, March 29, 2013. Sunny, warm, southerly breeze, Temp. 55 degrees F. Beautiful day.

After a cold month with several days of snow the warm weather has brought out lots of park users. Snow melt has filled most of the wetland ponds and the main lake is nearly full as well. I parked on Harrison Avenue and walked around the south lake. A plethora of waterfowl were evident and I am sorry I didn’t bring my spotting scope. On the wetlands near the parking lot I saw four Blue-winged Teal, a pair of Canada Geese and two Gadwall. About 20 Shovellers were dabbling in Pond F of the north wetland. Ring-billed Gulls and American Crows were flying around everywhere and a flock of about 75 gulls were sleeping on the ice in the western half of the south lake; the eastern half is open water. A pair of unmarked Trumpeter Swans were on the edge of the ice in the center of the lake and several dozen Canada Geese were on the ice near the south shore. I scanned a large flock of ducks in the open water just beyond the ice and identified the following: Canvasback, Redhead, Ringed-Neck Duck, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, American Widgeon, Gadwall, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Mallard, Ruddy Duck, and an American Coot. I probably could have seen more species had I brought my spotting scope. An immature Bald Eagle was standing on the ice near the flock of gulls; it later flew southeast towards the Skunk River. A flock of about 15 Canvasbacks flew in from the southwest, dipped low over the flock of ducks in the water and then made several passes over the lake before regaining altitude and flying northward. The ponds near Stonebrooke are still mostly frozen but a large flock of Ring-billed Gulls and a couple of Herring Gulls were on the ice there. Kevin Kane's blog had spectacular photos this week from Wolf Oesterreich of a pair of White-fronted Geese and a Ring-billed Gull in flight.

Erv Klaas

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