Monday, May 5, 2014

Chasing the Garganey

     Over a year there are lots of unusual birds that show up in unusual places but not being independently wealthy or certifiably nuts, I don"t usually chase the rarity unless it is close to my home. On Saturday the skies were clearing, the temps were rising and the rest of my family was otherwise engaged so I decided I would drive up to see the Garganey that has appeared at Crex Meadows near Grantsburg, Wisconsin.

    I have spent lots of time at Crex during college and grad school but hadn't been there for a while. It seemed reasonable that a visit was due. 95 miles later I'm sitting along a roadside ditch looking at a bird that should be in Siberia not Wisconsin. Pretty cool!
    Most of the waterfowl that use Crex for a migration stopover have moved on but there were some Ring-necked Ducks, Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal still around. The Garganey hangs out with the teal mostly. This shot was from a roadside ditch that held a variety of ducks. The traffic and commotion kept the birds moving and eventually they took off and headed to a larger body of water across the refuge road.
    As the sun went down the air took on a chill that told me it was time to head home. I wonder if the Garganey will leave soon or stay the summer. If you haven't gone to see it and live what you consider a reasonable distance away, I would definitely chase Wisconsin's first record Garganey.

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