Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Sunday Afternoon Walk

It's March 11th and it feels more like April 11th. This is the month we should be getting our spring blizzards and hoping to survive until warm weather but instead we're going to have temps in the 70s this week. Lots of birds are moving in significantly ahead of schedule. The lakes usually look like the picture above but most are very close to opening. I wouldn't be surprised to see many lakes ice free by Friday. 

Yesterday I headed down to the southern part of the county to Lake Byllesby Regional Park and saw thousands of geese milling around on the lake. The group was made of of 3 species, Canada, Greater White-fronted and Snow. Lots of Pintails and Green-winged Teal too.

I decided to get out and enjoy this afternoon down at the Old Cedar Bridge area of the Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. One of the first signs of spring was singing Redwing Blackbirds all over the place. Song Sparrows flitted through the grasses along the edge of the trail and every open bit of water was full of waterfowl. The complete list of species for the day is as follows:

Greater White-fronted Goose
Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan
Wood Duck
American Widgeon
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Hairy Woodpecker
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Robin
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird

I can only imagine that many more migrants will show up this week with the warm temps and the strong winds from the south. Get out and look up!

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