A group of 15 met at McGinnis Slough the morning of April 8, 2017.  It was a bit windy, but the sun was shining and the birds were definitely active.  After getting killer looks at a male Blue-winged Teal in the marsh, and seeing the iridescent ring on a male Ring-necked Duck in great light we trudged to the overlook.  We saw 14 species of waterfowl with some highlights being Gadwall, Shovelers, Bufflehead, and Ruddy Ducks.  The Pied-billed Grebes and American Coots were calling like crazy and a few Caspian Terns flew in and quickly moved on.  A pair of Belted Kingfishers announced their presence, with one posing for excellent scope views.

Our next stop was Saganashkee Slough which had recently been loaded with ducks was nearly empty, save for some scatted Ring-billed and Herring Gulls and some distant Scaup.  Raptors appears to be migrating on the southwinds and thermals with multiple Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, and an adult Bald Eagle seen in quick succession.  The highlight here was the returning pair of Osprey, with the presumed female on the nest.  The presumed male actually dove into the water and was almost completely submerged, but pulled himself out with a nice catch for his mate and they both returned to the nesting platform.

At Maple Lake, we had breathtaking views of 2 Common Loons in full breeding plumage, as well as one of four Horned Grebes in breeding plumage which came within a few feet of us.  Three Red-breasted Mergansers were the only other waterfowl of note and we parted ways from here to enjoy the rest of this beautiful Spring day. 

-- Post and photos contributed by Andrew Aldrich


Species totals below:

Canada Goose 56
Wood Duck 11
Gadwall 6
Mallard 9
Blue-winged Teal 4
Northern Shoveler 3
Ring-necked Duck 18
Lesser Scaup 7
Bufflehead 17
Common Merganser 6
Red-breasted Merganser 3
Ruddy Duck 2
Common Loon 2
Pied-billed Grebe 18
Horned Grebe 6
Double-crested Cormorant 7
Great Blue Heron 9
Turkey Vulture 4
Osprey 2
Cooper's Hawk 4
Bald Eagle 1
Red-tailed Hawk 6
American Coot 30
Ring-billed Gull 17
Herring Gull 4
Caspian Tern 4
Belted Kingfisher 2
Downy Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Blue Jay 6
American Crow 1
Tree Swallow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 9
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
American Robin 10
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling 6
Field Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 4
Swamp Sparrow 3
Northern Cardinal 5
Red-winged Blackbird 40
Common Grackle 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 4
House Finch 1