Today, thanks to the sharp eyes of Barb and Sue, my brother, nephew and I had excellent looks at a Virginia Rail at 180th St Marsh at around 3:45 pm. It was vocalizing, and located on the far end of the west pond in the reeds, on the north side of the pond, coming out and returning to the reeds several times. There were also 3 spinning Wilson's Phalaropes, many duck species, Soras and a Pied-billed Grebe at the east pond. Several other birders spotted A. Avocets, as well. 180th St. Marsh is between Hwy 85 (Goodhue Ave.) and Fischer Ave.
At Lake Byllesby in mid-morning, there were 3 Least Grebes, several phalaropes and an American Avocet, plus ducks. Some shorebirds were at a great distance, and the snow melt has raised the water considerably. Many Hermit Thrush were present on the shore and land.
The birds were viewed at the west end of Lake Byllesby, accessed from Hwy 88 (292nd St,), east of the 56/88 crossroads, at a turn-out with an iron fence, on the south side of the road. Park on the shoulder of 88, cross the railroad tracks, go around the gate, and follow the birder trail to an open look-out on the lake.
I enjoyed seeing other birders at both locations, and met some bright young birders with their excellent guide, who were doing a Big Day!
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