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Outings Highlights!

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Click Here For Pictures Of Previous Outings!!

Great-tailed Grackle at Table Marsh (Posing!)
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LHAS Outing 4-22-2017 by Carol Blair

Bald Eagle on Nest at Owego Wetlands
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LHAS Outing 4-22-2017 by Carol Blair

Great Horned Owl & Owlette nest at Owego Wetlands
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LHAS Outing 4-22-2017 by Carol Blair

Spotted Sandpiper at Sandhill Lake
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LHAS Outing 4-22-2017 by Carol Blair

Saturday, 22 April 2017.

7 birders participated in our April outing. It was a mostly clear, calm morning at 42 degrees and warmed to the upper 60’s later in the day with clear skies and continued calm conditions. Our first stop was the Owego Wetlands to look for the Eurasian Wigeon (a rare visitor to interior North America) which was found there the preceding Monday and was present all week including Friday but we were unable to relocate it. We did observe nesting Great Horned Owls and Bald Eagles. A trip to Table Marsh produced an amazingly close up view of a very patient Great-tailed Grackle right out our car windows. He serenaded us with a few of his loud clack calls which may have been directed towards the two females perched nearby. After a nice lunch at the subway in Sloan a stop at the Osprey nest nearby found a pair of nesting Osprey. At Sandhill Lake we found two Spotted Sandpipers and additional stops were made at Snyder’s Bend and New Lake. One of the Osprey platforms at Brown’s Lake also had nesting Osprey.

 

Other highlights included Northern Mockingbird, American Golden-plovers, and Wilson’s Snipe. We recorded a total of 65 species for the day. Thanks to all who participated. It was a beautiful day for birding!

4-22-2017 Birds—Owego Wetlands, Table Marsh, Osprey Nests, Sandhill Lake, Snyder’s Bend, New Lake, areas etc. outing--65 species--Highlights in red

Snow Goose

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

American Wigeon

Mallard

Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler

Green-winged Teal

Ring-necked Duck

Ruddy Duck

Ring-necked Pheasant

Wild Turkey

Pied-billed Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Bald Eagle

Northern Harrier

Cooper’s Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

American Kestrel

American Coot

American Golden-plover

Killdeer

Spotted Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

Wilson’s Snipe

Rock Pigeon

Eurasian Collared-dove

Mourning Dove

Great Horned owl

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Tree Swallow

Bank Swallow

Barn Swallow

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

European Starling

Eastern Towhee

Chipping Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Harris’s Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Common Grackle                          

Great-tailed Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

1,000's of Snow Geese were seen.
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LHAS Outing 3-18-2017 by Randy Williams

Wood Ducks (2 males and 1 female).
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LHAS Outing 3-18-2017 by Carol Blair

Numerous migrating Ring-billed Gull's were seen.
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LHAS Outing 3-18-2017 by Carol Blair

Birders on Lake Yankton.
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LHAS Outing 3-18-2017 by Jan Null

Birders enjoying lunch at Chuck and Donna's cabin.
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LHAS Outing 3-18-2017 by Randy Williams

Saturday, 18 March 2017.

18 people traveled to the Gavin’s Point Dam area to participate in our March outing. Part of our group departed Sioux City at 7:30 and found the rest of the group gathered at the north end of Lake Yankton below the dam. Those who drove up were treated to multiple flocks of migrating Snow Geese whose bright white colors glistened brightly against the clouds as they headed north. It was a cold, mostly clear morning with a temp of 30 degrees and remained in the low 30’s the rest of the morning before warming up to 55 degrees after lunch. A light breeze kept our warm gear on as we observed the large numbers of waterfowl on the lake.

 

Large numbers of ducks were seen on the lake and we were able to identify all the common duck species that migrate through our area each year. Ring-necked Ducks seemed to be the most numerous species. A stop on the dam showed us more Ducks close to shore and a huge flock of Snow Geese farther out on the big water. One birder located 3 Long-tailed Ducks but we were unable to relocate them again in the dense flocks along the shore. We found 19 species of Ducks and 3 species of Geese plus American Coots. It was fun to watch the Common Goldeneyes and Buffleheads performing their mating display antics. Bald Eagles and a Great Horned Owl were occupying nests and were seen by some. We recorded a total of 54 species for the day which happened to be the exact same total as last year, but several of the species were different.

 

We broke for lunch at Chuck and Donna’s cabin and were treated to some very delicious goodies including 3 kinds of soup, several species of cookies, two flavors of ice cream with choices of toppings, sandwich choices, chips, veggies and the like. Thanks to all who participated and especially to Chuck and Donna for hosting us and to all others who contributed to the feast.

3-18-2017 Birds—Gavin’s Point Dam area etc. outing--54 species--Highlights in red.

Greater White-fronted Goose

Snow Goose

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Gadwall

American Wigeon

Mallard

Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler

Northern Pintail

Green-winged Teal

Canvasback

Redhead

Ring-necked Duck

Lesser Scaup

Long-tailed Duck

Bufflehead

Common Goldeneye

Hooded Merganser

Common Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Ring-necked Pheasant

Wild Turkey

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

American Kestrel

American Coot

Killdeer

Ring-billed Gull

Rock Pigeon

Eurasian Collared-dove

Mourning Dove

Great Horned Owl

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Blue Jay

American Crow

Black-capped Chickadee

White-breasted Nuthatch

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

European Starling

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Western Meadowlark

Common Grackle

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

Some of the 45 Bald Eagles seen at Blue Lake Area
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LHAS Outing 2-18-2017 by Jan Null

Some of the Geese at Blue Lake
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LHAS Outing 2-18-2017 by Jan Null

A few of the thousands of flying Snow Geese
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LHAS Outing 2-18-2017 by Jan Null

Can you find (hard to see) the 7 Lapland Longspurs
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LHAS Outing 2-18-2017 by Jan Null

Birders at Blue Lake Area
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LHAS Outing 2-18-2017

Saturday, 18 February 2017.

9 Birders participated in our February outing. Temperatures ranged from 33 degrees to the low 60’s under clear skies with calm conditions which gave us an unbelievable beautiful February day for birding! Since Trumpeter Swans and numerous Bald Eagles had been seen the previous day at Blue Lake, that was our destination for the day. We primarily birded the main lake area and the area one mile south where the marsh comes to an end. We also made a stop at the nearby Middle Decatur Bend area. The Swans were not to be found, but we were rewarded with an amazing spectacle of migrating Geese including numerous large flocks of Snows, Greater White-fronts, Canadas, and a few Cackling and Ross’s mixed in. We also recorded a total of 45 Bald Eagles including 24 counted on the ice where the marsh ends at the far south end.

 

Other highlights included 35 Lapland Longspurs which gave us amazing close-up long views right along the road, a never ending flock of Red-winged Blackbirds which we gave an estimated count of 50,000, and an immense flock of Snow Geese (and other species) resting on the ice and open water at Blue Lake after our lunch in Onawa. It was exciting to watch flock after flock descend from high in the sky and land on the lake right in front of us with the sun to our backs which made for excellent viewing conditions. The recent stretch of unseasonably warm weather has triggered an unusual very early migration compared to previous years. We recorded a total of 33 species for the day and counted a total of 210,381 birds. These will be reported to the GBBC web site. Thanks to all who participated and became ‘Citizen Scientist’s for a day!

2-18-2017 Birds—Blue Lake and related areas etc. outing--33 species. (GBBC)--Highlights in red.

Greater White-fronted Goose- 25,000

Snow Goose- 100,000

Ross’s Goose- 10

Cackling Goose- 30

Canada Goose- 35,000

American Wigeon-2

Mallard- 30

Northern Pintail- 20

Ring-necked Duck- 16

Lesser Scaup- 1

Common Goldeneye- 4

Common Merganser- 2

Ring-necked Pheasant- 1

Wild Turkey- 50

Bald Eagle- 45

Red-tailed Hawk- 8

Ring-billed Gull- 6

Rock Pigeon- 9

Eurasian Collared-dove- 5

Red-bellied Woodpecker- 1

Downy Woodpecker- 2

Blue Jay- 2

American Crow- 14

Horned Lark- 11

Black-capped Chickadee- 2

White-breasted Nuthatch- 1

American Robin- 6

European Starling- 15

Lapland Longspur- 35

American Tree Sparrow- 50

Northern Cardinal- 1

Red-winged Blackbird- 50,000

House Sparrow- 2

 

33 Total Species

210,381 Total Birds Counted

Click on the Rough-legged Hawk to return to top.
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By Paul Roisen