Sunday morning arrived with cloudy skies and temps in the low 30's. I decided to head to Pt. Mouillee to see if any of the Snowy Owls were still around (first seen in late December). I threw the bike on the back of the car w/ the hopes of riding the Middle Causeway, but when I arrived at Mouillee Creek entrance the parking lot was a solid sheet of ice and the entrance buried in snow. I decided to walk. Good thing, because the parking lot was slippery and I had to skate to the gated entrance.
The first quarter mile of the dike was covered with snow and ice, with only tiny fragments of exposed dirt. However, the ice cover soon disappeared and the dike was bare (frozen) dirt. The decision to walk was a wise one, however, as ice soon reappeared and even walking was treacherous. As I reached the Pump House I spotted a light-phase Rough-legged Hawk in a tree overlooking the Bad Creek Unit. It flew off to the south even before I could get close enough to put a spotting scope on it.
I'm guessing that all three are the same birds I found late in December, and it was good to see that they at least appear healthy. I had hoped to hike out to the Banana Unit, but a lunch date forced an early end to the day. Just as well, I have very large blisters on both feet from the hike...
As I drove home I counted 3-dozen Tundra Swans flying over US-Turnpike from Pt. Mouillee HQ, had a Cooper's Hawk fly over the car, and an adult Bald Eagle soaring over Gibralter Rd. Good stuff!