Saturday, November 22, 2008

November Birds

Though overcast and cold, I bundled up and birded with Dottie, Sylvia and Bill this morning along the stream corridor at Pheasant Branch Conservancy. Juncos, chickadees and goldfinches were very plentiful; a Carolina Wren sang just one time. But the biggest treat was when our group silently walked by a resting Great Horned Owl without disturbing it. Further down the west trail, we were somewhat surprised to hear a chattering Belted Kingfisher.

Ice is just beginning to form on rocks at the crossings, but the stream never completely freezes; there is access to fish for the kingfisher. We left the corridor and headed over scope Lake Mendota from Marshall Park. We immediately spotted several Tundra Swans mingled in with hundreds of Canada Geese. A lone Common Loon was preening way out on the lake. Closer in were Common Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, Buffleheads, Gadwall, Mallards, and American Coots. After Marshall Park, we called it a day and went to get some hot soup!

All images © 2008 Mike McDowell

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