[Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Stir Craziness drove me out and about today. Hitting up Homer WTP still trying for shorebirds. I did get some flushed bird before I even got off the main road, with 9 Yellowlegs flying around the South end. I was able to later ID them as Greater Yellowlegs, with the 9 being a high count for this time of the year. I was unable to pick up a Pectoral or Dunlin though. Even with the help of a couple of Red-tailed Hawks spooking up the Yellowlegs and Killdeer. I also thought I had a Black Scoter candidate, but some underwing looks and general "off-ness" it turned out to be a Redhead with a very dark bill.
Duck Lake WTP had nothing much to offer, so I stopped at Duck Lake trying to see if the Forster's Terns were still there. I did not see them, but I did get a couple of Bonaparte's. I also had a grebe that seemed to have an unusually long white neck. It could have just been a Horned Grebe somehow stretched out, but I was never able to re-find the bird. A running them in my 2.5 hours there. Shortly after this grebe I spotted a dark duck mixed in with some Ruddy Ducks as far across the lake, of course, as they could get. Before I could even think "Scoter?" I saw a nice angled streak of white on its side. Finally a long overdue White-winged Scoter for the county. White-winged have been seen in every other nearby county except Calhoun and Hillsdale till today. I knew we would get one eventually, but wasn't expecting it to be late October with everything still open.
Duck Lake wasn't done as I had my best look one of the Red-necked Grebe. I say "one of" because there were actually two out there. Maybe more. This was a bird that I had a hard time relocating as it seemed to be moving around a lot. After I sighted two close to each other I wasn't able to find them again. Given the choppy water and dark skies it didn't make things easy. These two birds were never even on my radar to try to see this year.
I give you White-winged Scoter pictures almost as good as those of the Loch Ness Monster.
Red-necked Grebe, juvenile Bald Eagle, and a Bonaparte's Gull.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)