Birding in Calhoun County and beyond
A quick run today around the county this morning, with a focus on waterfowl netted my best looks yet at Snow Goose.
P DR N between 19.5 and 21 Mile, and then up 21 Mile to R DR N had minimum of 250 Sandhill Cranes in the various farm fields. Brief looks at Horned Lark, but I was unable to see too much other movement. Some very distant small flocks that I was unable to identify.
I swung by 23 Mile Road for a quick look, and zero shorebirds hanging around now. Duck Lake offered up a decent mix of birds, but the bright sun made staying in one spot difficult, at least on the West side. Really wish there were some better spots to view on this lake. A couple of Common Goldeneye, still large numbers of American Coots and Ruddy Duck on the lake.
The WTP offered very little. Some easily spooked Canada Geese, a handful of Buffleheads, and a few Ring-billed Gull but nothing else interesting. I drove down 27.5 Mile road, intending to check out Gordon Lake just in case, when some Birding Mojo happened. A small pond just South of O DR N, before the Gordon Lake access, has never really yielded anything of note. Today and nice big bright white bird caught my eye. After a quick turnaround I was getting my best look yet at a Snow Goose.
This small pond doesn't even register on the "normal" Google map, as you can see below. This was definitely an unexpected find, and much welcome to add this new year bird today. Now if I could only get another Greater White-fronted Goose at my next stop in Homer
Yeah, that wasn't foreshadowing, unfortunately. No such luck at Homer. It was a decent mix of waterfowl, and a couple of Killdeer still hanging around. Nothing to get too excited about though.
This all lead me back to looking in to some numbers I have looked at in the past couple of weeks. This time last year, doing my Calhoun County Big Year, I had 188 birds with an American Pipit on 10/26. I went 0-November and snagged up 6 birds in December to get to 194. I am having some minor regrets on not going after some other birds earlier in the year, just because I was so focused on 206 lifetime number.
Birds I didn't go after, that I won't get another chance this year:
I guess there is always the shot still at 200, but those first 5 sure would make it a lot easier. Have to hope for a decent irruption on some of the latter ones. Hate to waste such a great miracle of shorebirds seen this year. Had I only known, I might have pushed just a little bit harder. Still have definitely had a great year already, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)