Andrew Krenz and I explored Blue Earth and eastern Watonw
Andrew Krenz and I explored Blue Earth and eastern Watonwan County today. Thousands of geese and ducks were pushing in along with several other new arrivals.
In Blue Earth County, check Loon Lake and Crystal Lake for open water. Hundreds of Cackling, Canada, and Greater White-fronted Geese were present and Snow Geese were seen flying overhead. Other ducks: Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Bufflhead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup. We also had a Ring-billed Gull and an American Coot and a Killdeer flyover. We found very little other open water in the county.
In Watonwan County, the birds were largely passing overhead but seemed to come in to Wilson's Lake north of Madelia and many were feeding at a WMA on the south side of Hwy 60 southwest of Madelia. We had hundreds of Greater White-fronted and Canadas with smaller amounts of Snow and Cackling. We also found two Ross's Geese tucked in a flock of Snow Geese flushed by a Bald Eagle.
Raptor movement was dominated by Bald Eagles, but we saw American Kestrels and Red-tailed Hawks heading north along with a single Broad-winged Hawk (seen soaring at low altitude just south of Loon Lake).
Eurasian Collared-Doves were found in Madelia and Mapleton. We also found Belted Kingfisher in two locations and there were several passerines that had arrived: Red-winged and Rusty Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbird, and both Meadowlarks, Eastern Bluebird, Song Sparrow.
Departing winter residents included a couple flocks of Snow Buntings and Lapland Longspurs and a small flock of Common Redpolls at a cemetery south of Garden City. Much to our surprise, there was a single Hoary Redpoll tucked in! A Red-breasted Nuthatch was located in Mankato and a female Rough-legged Hawk continues to reside at Roberts WPA northwest of Mapleton.
"But ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?" --Job 12:7, 9
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