A perfect morning for walking the dikes at Erie Marsh consisted of clear skies, no wind, and temps that hovered near freezing. This was important, otherwise the dikes would be soft and mud would cake the boots. But, this morning the ground was frozen and I enjoyed firm footing.
Inland ponds, fields and canals were frozen, so the place was relatively quiet. However, I did hear bright "Chip" notes from the phragmites that indicated the presence of Swamp Sparrows. Birds were on the move and I counted almost 20 birds. After a while I was able to differentiate their notes from the thinner "Tsip" notes of American Tree Sparrows that were also scattered over the marsh.
The sulphur pond was filled with several dozen Gadwall and at least one Northern Shoveler, but they flushed as I approached. I did have a Belted Kingfisher stick around long enough to digiscope.
Erie Marsh Preserve, Monroe, Michigan, US
Dec 20, 2017 8:16 AM - 10:41 AM
19 species (+1 other taxa)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 110 On ice near entrance
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata) 1
Gadwall (Mareca strepera) 90
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 5
Common/Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus merganser/serrator) 230
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 2 2imm
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 4
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 200
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 17
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 3
American Tree Sparrow (Spizelloides arborea) 28
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 7
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) 17 Chip notes/phragmites
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 39 Atop tree/flock of 30
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 25
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 11
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 6
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
I stopped by the J.R. Whiting Plant on the way home just long enough to view a Peregrine Falcon on the plant structure through binoculars.