Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day '08: Eurasian Wigeon, Golden Eagle, Rough-leg @ Brig; Red-necked Grebe and Short-ears at Jake's Landing

Based on what I saw today, maybe Leap Day should occur more than once every four years...

I made a quick spin around Brig/Forsythe this afternoon. Waterfowl numbers continue to increase, consisting mainly of Black Ducks and Pintails, along with the other usual dabblers. A pair of Common Mergansers were feeding in the NW Pool. The Eurasian Wigeon continues- search for a wigeon flock in the cove at the start of the north dike; this is where the bird has been most often, and where it was today. There were four species of raptors along the north dike, highlighted by a single Golden Eagle that was stirring up the Snow Geese for a brief while, as well as a distant light-morph Rough-legged Hawk. Several Northern Harriers and a Red-tailed Hawk rounded out the list.

Upon arriving at Jake's Landing at 5:00, I found the Queens of Cumberland and company stationed at the end of the road, where they had pulled out a superb find: a Red-necked Grebe on Dennis Creek. After a brief disappearing act, the grebe performed brilliantly in the bend of the creek for the rest of the evening. A single Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Pied-billed Grebes were also in the same vicinity. Other Jake's highlights included 3 Short-eared Owls, a fly-by Peregrine Falcon, and a male Northern Harrier. Red-winged Blackbirds and Eastern Meadowlarks were in full song.

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