[wisb] WSO Horicon field trip results
- From: "Tom Schultz" <trschultz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: "WISBIRDN" <wisbirdn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 21:58:43 -0500
WSO Horicon Marsh Field Trip - August 23, 2009 About 50 birders gathered along Hwy. 49 near the north end of Horicon Marsh this morning, under sunny skies and with temperatures rising from around 50 degrees -- and little or no wind. There was the standard variety of ducks present, along with Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Pied-billed Grebes, coots, cormorants, and large flocks of American White Pelicans that were feeding as a group. Unfortunately, the water levels have been too high this year for shorebirds in this area, but some people were lucky enough to spot the family of Trumpeter Swans that has been present. A couple of male Yellow-headed Blackbirds also made a close fly-by. We left about 8:50 to drive to the auto tour, stopping first at the parking lot near the entrance to carpool. There wasn't much bird activity along the loop (except for a brief view of Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, as well as some Solitary Sandpipers), so the group parked and walked out along the Old Marsh Road. There was a flock of about 20 Black Terns present, along with Green Herons, and a few Lesser Yellowlegs, pelicans and other marsh birds. Walking further to the next pool, we had good looks at a couple of Snowy Egrets that were actively feeding, as well as some Wilson's Snipe. Around 10:30 we headed south along the east side of the marsh and drove out on the Main Dike, to the spot where the water levels are lower and there has been some good shorebird habitat. Unfortunately, the numbers of sandpipers and plovers were quite a bit down from what had been there on a scouting visit earlier in the morning -- but we had decent looks at Least, Semipalmated and Pectoral Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Semipalmated Plovers. Also spotted were single White-rumped and Stilt Sandpipers, but soon after the latter was found we discovered the reason that there were now fewer birds present -- a Peregrine Falcon came rocketing in, soon to be joined by a second one, and off went the shorebirds! The falcons briefly chased each other, then flew around making quick passes at the now-flying flocks of sandpipers. At one point both immature peregrines perched in a dead tree about 100 yards down the road, giving us decent scope views for a short time. We enjoyed seeing them, but were also pleased to see them leave after a few minutes, so the shorebirds could begin to return -- but unfortunately no different species were spotted. Sora and Virginia Rails frequently called from the marsh, and one or two of each were spotted walking around on the mudflats, and a couple of Northern Harriers also came cruising by while we were there. About 11:45 most of the people were ready to move on, so we wrapped up the field trip and everyone headed toward their respective homes. Thanks to everyone who participated, and to Jeff Baughman for co-leading this outing. Tom Schultz WSO Field Trips co-chair Green Lake Co. #################### You received this email because you are subscribed to the Wisconsin Birding Network (Wisbirdn). To UNSUBSCRIBE or SUBSCRIBE, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. To set DIGEST or VACATION modes, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. Visit Wisbirdn ARCHIVES at: http://www.freelists.org/archives/wisbirdn.
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