Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Today I participated in the BC CBC. I started a little later than intended for the Owling. It ended up being very quiet for owls for me. I had one Barred Owl scream, and that was it. One Screech-Owl gave a very faint scream. No hoots or trills at all. Luckily that wasn't a sign of things to come. My first bird of the daylight hours was a flying Great Blue Heron. One I wasn't sure I'd get, but I ended up with 2 of them. On that same stretched I had dueling Carolina Wren. No phishing or playback required.
I had 13 species by the time I got to Waubascon Lake, which surprisingly had little in waterfowl on it. The 4 domestic geese there caused me some brief puzzlement with their "calls" that sounded like screams. Hutchinson Road where the Waubascon Creek wetland area is had a nice male Ring-necked Pheasant there, with another calling. It booked into the reeds as a truck had stopped to check him out on the other side. I wasn't able to get the camera in time. Nice find for the CBC today. I think my only contribution that was unique for it.
The area I have has multiple similar areas like that with creeks and wetland areas. I got really lucky at one on Meachem Road with my FOY Red-shouldered Hawk soaring over the marshy area, and landed briefly. Definitely my best bird of the day as I had given up on finding one this year. A few other highlights were a Bald Eagle I almost gave up as a clump of leaves in a tree, a lone Golden-crowned Kinglet, and another Red-shouldered Hawk when I went back to Waubascon Lake for its facilities.
By the time I got to the tally meetup I had 35 species, all in Calhoun. 42 was my previous high on two other occasions. I had a good feeling about surpassing the number. I tried for the Peregrine Falcon downtown, but it didn't show. I'm afraid they may have been spooked out of there with the construction. The last sighting was in July downtown. The Millpond gave me Herring Gulls, Sandhill Cranes and a Common Goldeneye was still there. Beadle Lake had a decent size spot of open ice with a few hundred Canada geese, with a surprise Greater Scaup mixed in, and 3 Cackling Geese!!
Upon arriving home I was prepping to head back out try to add more birds, when I noticed two Downy and an American Goldfinch still as stone on the feeders. None of them were moving a single muscle. Sure enough when I went outside the Sharp-shinned Hawk took off. I headed out into the drizzle hoping for some open water on Goguac Lake, and to Hart's Lake where some birds I needed were sighted earlier. Goguac had nothing on it. Hart's Lake was so dark I couldn't find the Lesser Scaup or Hooded Merganser there. Luckily two I needed were easy to find in the overcast light. 2 Trumpeter Swans flew in calling, and for number 43 there were 4 Mute Swans.
My last running around birding day, with over 150 miles travelled, ended up being a really good one. Was nice to go out on a high note for some time. Here's hoping the dropped top on the Jeep for much of the day doesn't come back to bite me.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)