Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Late Evening West End Excursion for Marsh Birds with Tony Beck

Monday April 25, 6:30 pm

Tonight there were Russell, Janet Wall, Barbara, Tony, Al, Heather, Peter, Roger and Ruth.  Nina was ill.

On Barnsdale Road, we saw a Coyote trotting along in the field.  At Burnside Pit, we had a good variety of Ducks - Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked, Common Merganser and Bufflehead.  Tony scoped a pair of Northern Pintails and a sleeping Ruddy Duck.  It seemed like every merganser was eating fish.  There were a couple of Mourning Doves on the wire.

We went down Cambrian to Twin Elm, where we saw an Osprey at Synagri.  It was eating a fish.  We went to the dead end and viewed 7 or 8 Greater Yellowlegs in the pond created by the flooded field.  Barbara spotted a Merlin perched in the distance and Heather spotted a Yellow-rumped Warbler.
We move to Munster Side Road as darkness was falling.  Al spotted a couple of Wild Turkeys.  We stopped by the pond on the west side of the road.  There were many Spring Peepers calling.  Then we heard an American Bittern calling several times and one call of a Pied-billed Grebe.  We heard a Virginia Rail call twice.
Tony played the call of the American Bittern on the tape.  It responded and came tantalizing close, but failed to show.  Then Tony played the Virginia Rail, and one came right out at our feet.  A second one was lurking in behind.
We move further along the road, and we heard another American Bittern and another Virginia Rail.  We already had out Rail photos, so concentrated on the Bittern, but it went further away.  It was a good spot for Saw-whet Owl, but we could never hear the call with allof the Spring Peepers singing.  With that, we called it a night.

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