The first pair of Red-necked Grebes were back on Assumption Lake this morning. They were associating with themselves away from the main pack of waterfowl on the lake, though there were a few ducks around them. Late waterfowl today were a single Common Goldeneye on Rapids Lake and a single Redhead and Canvasback on Winkler Lake. Lesser Scaup, Northern Shoveler, and Bufflehead are still around in good numbers. There were both Franklin's and Bonaparte's Gulls in the area as well, 3 Franklin's on Rapids Lake and 6 Bonaparte's on a flooded field along Salem Ave. southeast of Norwood-Young America. A Lesser Yellowlegs was also in the field along Salem Ave., and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs were in a field along Post Rd. northwest of Cologne. 5 Yellow-rumped Warblers were at Rapids Lake MVNWR along with a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets. 5 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were all in the same general area south of the visitors center at the refuge. They looked to be setting up territory as they were all vocal, aggressive towards each other, and repeatedly tapping the same rhythm on trees. A Field Sparrow had moved into the refuge that hadn't been there Friday, and a Western Meadowlark had joined the 2 Eastern Meadowlarks in the grassland. Another sure sign of spring was a White-throated Sparrow just singing his heart out. On a non-bird note, this year has already been a bad year for ticks. I have picked them off of me almost every time I've been out starting the last few days of March.
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