Friday, April 12, 2013

Horicon Birding Trip

A couple days ago Dad and I went birding in the Horicon Marsh area and then up to Dundee (which to make an unrelated point is the UFO capital of Wisconsin).  Saw some interesting birds.

Well, first I went to West Bend again.  This is where I saw the Common Loons I posted the other day, but I didn't get very many good pictures of them (they were too far away).  So I waited for a while and they came up very close.  

Then Horicon Marsh, where we saw a large number of Canvasbacks and Lesser Scaups.  As I took a photo of what I thought was a Lesser Scaup and a Canvasback, I realized that it was actually a Ring-necked Duck, which is a life-lister for me.
Second from the left is a Ring-necked Duck drake.
To the left of him is probably a hen.

American Coots, ubiquitous birds.

Likely a Canada Goose. I can't really tell the difference
between a Canada and Cackling Goose.

Canvasback hen and drake.

I have never seen so many Canvasbacks. They were everywhere!

Also there were lots of Ruddy Ducks.

See, these ones are definitely Canada Geese.
 We decided to drive down to a dock (I don't know what to call this place, I never paid attention), where we saw a Northern Harrier one time.  These are absolutely gorgeous hawks that seem to float around looking for food in the field.  On the way there we saw a lot of Sandhill Cranes.  I chased a few American Tree Sparrows while we were there.  On the way back we saw a Northern Harrier, a Blue-winged Teal, a Pied-billed Grebe, and a pair of Mute Swans (which are a life lister for me... well, I've seen them before, but not since listing).  I got a photo of the swans... kind of... but it looks like a white blob.
Sandhill Cranes.

They flew away as I was photographing.

Northern Harrier. Same place as the last one, but a different bird.

Again with the Northern Harrier.
We were about to go home when Dad said somebody at a gas station confirmed the Ospreys were back in Dundee.  They've had Ospreys there for years and wound up having to build a nesting platform because they would nest on top of the lights at the baseball diamond, which reasonably got a bit annoying after a while.  One was in the nest while another was flying around... the nesting one was not impressed with my being there, so we left them alone.
Osprey in a nest.

Osprey with prey.