[Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
October turned out to be a huge month for FOY for me with 2 more being added since my last post. Both were purely "accidental" finds where I just happened to go somewhere I hadn't intended. After all my whining about no shorebird habitat I found a nice large mudflat within my 5MR. The farm pond I had dipped on Common Gallinule in August I remember had some flooded farm area, so I at the last minute on my way to Homer decided to swing by there. A very large mudflat was right in that same spot that was previously a flooded part of the corn field. I could not believe this spot was so close and such good habitat. I am left to wonder what else may have visited this site the past couple of months. This site gave up FOY Pectoral Sandpipers, along with Killdeer, both Yellowlegs and Wilson's Snipes.
2 days after this I was headed to the same mudflat but did a hard brake on B DR N and turned down 10.5 Mile Road. I thought one of the Sandhill Cranes looked a little light, it wasn't. Turned out mixed in with a large group of Canada Geese were at least 6 Cackling Geese. They took off shortly thereafter and headed to the West. I later located what I think were the same birds on Beadle Lake. Finally we got one of the 4 "rare" Geese to show up here.
The Cackling Geese gave me 10 FOY this month. Past May I've never had more than 7 in a month. Twice in June, and twice in December. Needless to say I feel much better about getting one more to get to 200 for the year. It also puts us at 213 for the year. Still a little behind to get above the 218 eBird high. Not out of question, but we'd need some mix of the following:
Brooks Nature Area also gave me some great close up looks at a fishing Belted Kingfisher. It was nearly directly overhead hovering and did dive in once. I of course missed the dive on camera as the dive was so quick I couldn't keep the camera on it well enough to stay in focus.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)