Yesterday's MBW group found a Hoary Redpoll (possibly 2) among a flock of about 50 Com Redpolls along the entrance road to Hawkeye Co Park at Indian Lake. This apparently represents a first Nobles Co record, and this was only 0.4 mile from the Iowa state line, where this species is considered Accidental.
Elsewhere in Nobles Co, most of the waterfowl we encountered were at L Okabena in Worthington, where an estimated 5,500 geese were concentrated in an area kept open by aerators. Of these, 3,500+ were Cackling and 1,500+ Gr White-fronted, which are probably the largest numbers of these 2 species I have ever seen in MN. Curiously, there were only a couple hundred Canada Geese present and not a single Snow/Ross's!
Also here were 15 duck species, with Greater Scaup the only notable species (expected but not found anywhere yesterday were Am Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, and Bufflehead). In addition, there were Trumpeter Swans, Am Coot, and Herring Gulls at L Okabena.
We also spent some time in Jackson Co, primarily at Round and Liitle Spirit lakes which both had aerators. At Round Lake there were ~3,500 waterfowl, mostly geese, but the distance involved made it difficult to estimate the numbers of each species. However, this was the only place yesterday with Snow/Ross's Geese, although there were only 8 individuals. (All appeared to be Ross's, but they were too far away to ID for sure.) And at Little Spirit Lake there was a concentration of ~850 Gr White-fronteds among the 1,000+ waterfowl.
Open water away from the few aerated lakes we checked was almost non-existent (and, as posted Friday, there is basically no snow cover here). Mostly non-existent as well yesterday were migrant landbirds: about all we turned up of note besides the redpolls was a group of ~20 Lapland Longspurs just S of Round Lake.
Kim R Eckert
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