[mou] Scott Co. Swainson's, horned grebe and more, Thursday

linda whyte birds at moosewoods.us
Fri Apr 18 20:47:40 CDT 2008

On our rambling way to the new Carver Highlands Interpretive Center (not yet
open) Thursday, we did a bit of car-birding at Geis Lake on Highway 242 and
Zumbrota Avenue. Perched on a tree at the south end of the lake was what
appeared to be a Swainson's hawk. It took off across 242, to the south, and
landed in a tree on the other side of a field. While we were pondering its
identity, another hawk landed on the original tree, where it stayed for some
time. We were able to get this one in the scope, and check its marks against
both the Sibley and a raptor book, and concluded it, and also the first
hawk, were Swainson's.

Also present on or around Geis Lake:
Ruddy Duck
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Great Egret
American Kestrel
American Coot
American Robin
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird

In ponds by the Thompson Ferry Bridge in Jordan, there was also a good mix:
coots, mallards, buffleheads, scaup, ring-billed ducks,gadwall, shovelers,
pie-billed grebe, and pelicans. A red-tail, a turkey vulture, and some tree
swallows patrolled the airspace above robins and red-wing blackbirds.

When we finally arrived at Carver Highlands, the interpretive center was so
lively, we almost abandoned the hike for a Big Sit, but we managed to tear
ourselves away to the river and the trail. We saw over 30 species including
purple finches at the center; a pair of kingfishers and staggering numbers
of coots, cormorants and pelicans on Rapids Lake; a gang of bachelor wood
ducks on the river, and swarms of tree swallows above. Barred owls called
from across the river, flickers worked the open areas, and the brush was
rife with different sparrows, including song, fox and white-throated.
Altogether there were well over 30 species (not including the garter snake)
on a relatively short walk, and we know we'll be visiting this site again.

Linda Whyte
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