This was a day with several FOYs. Opting to get our exercise at River
Bend Nature Center before the Straight R.might flood, we started to
the west with a check of Wells Lake. Viewing proved best from Wells L.
Drive, which dead-ends in a small development. There we were serenaded
by an E. Meadowlark, with a chorus of kildeer from the nearby field
and sand flats. On the river, among the many Canadas, Mallards and
Coots, were Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Black Ducks, Gadwall, American
Wigeon, and Redheads.
We proceeded on to the rookery,where GBHE were examining the real
estate. Down by the bridge was a pair of N. Pintail among the C.
mergansers and Cormorants, and we were graced with a large, incoming
flock of Greater White-fronted Geese. We had good looks at them,
interrupted only when a young Bald Eagle buzzed the areas and spooked
At River Bend the feeders were hosting, among others, juncos in an
interesting variety of coloration, some of which reminded of the
Oregon subspecies. There were also tree sparrows, and just off the
main entry road, a song sparrow. We came across a couple of Pileated
woodpeckers not far from the waterfall near the first parking lot.
Taking back roads towards Byllesby, we passed through Nerstrand Woods
SP, and paid quick respects to one of the Red-headed Woodpeckers. On
the way out of the park, we spotted a Turkey near the road and a
Kestrel on a telephone line. We then made a brief stop at Dennison,
where a GBHE lifted up out of an overflowing ditch near the sewage
ponds, and some N. Shovelers were feeding in a flooded field. Close to
Randolph, we came across a flock of swans resting and feeding a bit in
a field, and scoped them; their legs were very black and the bridge of
their bills looked rounded rather than pointed, so even though we saw
almost no yellow on the bills, we decided they must be tundras.
Approaching Randolph, we found many C.Mergansers by the bridge on the
Cannon River. We stopped at the cemetery on L. Byllesby, and were
treated to a large number of Snow Geese, plus at least one more
Greater White-fronted, among the Canadas. Once again, an Eagle spooked
the birds, so there was no chance to search for any Ross' Geese.
By the time we got home, we had seen 4 kestrels in 3 counties, in
addition to many Red-tails and Eagles---a great day in Rice and
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