Winter Twilight Birding at Noon - 12 Jan 2023
Several Greater White-fronted Geese were found at Pt. Mouillee SGA a couple of days ago. After being seen again yesterday I decided to grab the bike and head out to see if I could relocate them. Skies were dark, foggy, and the threat of rain was in the forecast so I knew that photography would not be very fruitful. It was dark enough to feel 'dusk' during the mid-afternoon hours of this cold, damp January day.
With temps at 33F the ground was soft and riding was a bit strenuous. Mouillee Creek and the Walpatich Units were quiet with only the random 'tsip" of a Song Sparrow to break the silence. Luckily, I ran into a large flock of American Tree Sparrows roosting in the phragmites lining the Long Pond Unit. Sixty to seventy birds were flying back and forth across the trail ahead of me and I only managed a single bird.
I scoped the Humphries Unit south of the junction of the Vermet, Long Pond and Middle Causeway junction and found a couple dozen Canada Geese, Mute Swans and Mallard. I was able to see three Greater White-fronted Geese among them but they were only visible at 60X power. Their orange bills and white facial patch were the only features identifiable in the mist and fog.
A Red-tailed Hawk was perched on a signpost up ahead but it flew as I approached. As I watched it wing its way along the trail north toward the North Causeway a pair of Northern Harriers flew out over the Humphries Unit.
Several hundred Mallard in the Long Pond Unit kept flushing in random directions but few birds flew back toward my direction. A few American Black Duck were among them.