Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The Locals! - 18 Jun 2011
I started out at Mouillee Creek and rode the Middle Causeway east toward the Banana Unit. Swamp Sparrows and Marsh Wrens were singing from their usual haunts, from the Walpatich to the Vermet Units. Blue-winged Teal, Redhead, Mallard, Wood Ducks, Lesser Scaup, and a Northern Shoveler were the highlights in the Humphries Unit.
I looked for the Plegadis Ibis in the Vermet Unit, but saw only Killdeer, Canada Geese, Black-crowned Night Herons and Forster's Terns. Cell 3 was quiet. The only shorebirds present were Killdeer, a pair of Semipalmated Plovers, and a half-dozen Semipalmated Sandpipers along the east shoreline.
I didn't spend much time there, so I scanned the Humphries Unit for the Cattle Egrets (two) and Yellow-headed Blackbirds (heard one). Forster's Terns were swarming over the cattails in the middle of the marsh, while Caspian Terns roosted on the now-greening mudflats along the north end of Cell 3. A small raft of Ruddy Ducks were swimming in the south end of Cell 3.
I decided to check out the woods along the south shore of Cell 3. Warbling Vireos, Indigo Buntings, Song Sparrows, Common Yellowthroats, and Willow Flycatchers were seen and heard. A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was singing in the cottonwoods nearby, but failed to show itself when I played its call on my Sibley app (for Android). It did, however, appear along the east shoreline, but remained obscured enough to prevent photographing. Mosquitos were swarming, and enjoyed the quart of blood I gave them.
A flock of shorebirds flew into the mudflats lining the east shoreline of Cell 3. They consisted of 4-6 White-rumped Sandpipers among a half-dozen Semipalmated Sandpipers. Strangely, no Dunlin were seen this morning. The construction crew at the north end of Cell 3 were stringing out a large hose across the dike and into the cell, so it appears that a new round of spoils will be dumped (which may help to knock down the vegetation growing at the north end).
Darrin O'Brien for ID). Also seen were Blue Dashers. Sadly, most of my images of these tiny insects were way overexposed by the green vegetation, even though I had set exposure compensation to -0.3. Next time I'll have to adjust it to -1.3 to -1.7.
Bobolink were also lining the fence, but would not remain long enough for any kind of digiscoping. So I had to settle for watching them through the binoculars from the security of the car.
Time to head back home...