Saturday, April 13, 2013

Winter's Last Gasp, I Hope.

     It is getting so that I am so used to birding in the snow that I almost have a Pavlovian response to the sight of it falling - "Must. Go. Bird. Now." So, this morning, when I walked the dogs to the accompaniment of snow pellets bouncing off my jacket, it just seemed right to jump in the car and head to Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery. I found Trumpeter Swans at the hatchery, but also in an old corn field on 40th Street near M43, for a total of 5. Duck numbers are falling, but there are still good variety around. A remarkable 200 or so Tree Swallows were zipping back and forth over the big pond at WLFH.
     When I left the hatchery, I pulled into the boat access at Wolf Lake, across the street from WLFH. There I found this guy, who didn't seem all that troubled as I unloaded my gear and took a few pictures.

Osprey - Wolf Lake

    There was also a Pileated Woodpecker, some Common Mergansers, and a few Blue-winged Teal present there.
     At Maple Lake, most of the ducks have dispersed or moved on, but there was still a breeding plumaged Common Loon and a breeding plumaged Horned Grebe present.
     If you'd like to join me as I try not to miss any of the wonders of spring in Van Buren County, we will be meeting at Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery's parking lot on Monday, April 15, at 10 AM. Hope to see you there!

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