For those familiar with the area the main compound containing the marsh with boardwalks is still in a state of water level drawdown and vegetation is thick with very little open water. As a result the birds that one would normally associate with a marshy area were few and far between (ducks, rails...etc...). The highlights of this area were two pairs of Northern Harriers who were hunting over different sections of the compound and put on a continual show of catching prey and then participating in numerous mid-air transfers of "breakfast" before disappearing briefly into the high vegetation. No doubt they were feeding young hidden from our view. Their continuous acrobatics were a delight and earned them honours as one of our two "birds of the day."
The second of our "birds of the day" were Black-billed Cuckoos first heard near the parking lot and later seen near the start of the boardwalk at the visitor centre. The birds lived up to their reputation as being skulkers in the thick vegetation offering only brief partial views but good enough to be ticked as "lifers" for several of our participants.
Honourable mentions go to families of Great-crested Flycatchers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.
Although our species and overall numbers counts were both low it was an extremely enjoyable morning with nice company, a few good laughs and some excellent sightings.
Thanks to everyone who came out.
Our complete list of 43 species is below. A report will be forwarded to ebird. - Wayne Grubert
Wood Duck - 4, Mallard - 1, Double-crested Cormorant - 2, American bittern - 1, Great Blue Herons - 2, Green Heron - 3, Osprey - 2, Northern Harrier - 4, Merlin - 2, Ring-billed Gull - 20, Mourning Dove - 6, Black-billed Cuckoo - 2, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 4, Downy Woodpecker - 3, Northern Flicker - 4, Eastern Wood-Pewee - 1 (heard), Alder/Willow (Traill's) Flycatcher - 1, Eastern Phoebe - 2, Great Crested Flycatcher - 5, Warbling Vireo - 3, Red-eyed Vireo - 5, Blue Jay - 2, American Crow - 6, Purple martin - 2, Tree Swallow - 10, Barn Swallow - 6, Black-capped Chickadee - 4, White-breasted Nuthatch - 1, Veery - 2 (heard), American Robin - 10, Gray Catbird - 6, European Starling - 6, Cedar Waxwing - 12, Yellow Warbler - 10, Common Yellowthroat - 10, Chipping Sparrow - 3, Song Sparrow - 10, Swamp Sparrow - 10, Rose-breasted Grosbeak - 1, Red-winged Blackbird - 20, Common Grackle - 6, Baltimore Oriole - 1 (heard), American Goldfinch - 6
Canard branchu - 4, Canard colvert - 1, Cormoran à aigrettes - 2, butor d'Amérique - 1, Grands Hérons - 2, Héron vert - 3, Balbuzard pêcheur - 2, Busard Saint-Martin - 4, Falcon émerillon - 2, Goéland à bec cerclé - 20, Tourterelle triste - 2, Pic maculé - 4, Pic mineur - 3, Pic flamboyant - 4, Pioui de l'Est - 6, Coulicou à bec noir 1 (entendu), Moucherolle des aulnes / saules (de Traill) - 1, Moucherolle phébi - 2, Tyran huppé - 5, Viréo mélodieux - 3, Viréo aux yeux rouges - 5, Geai bleu - 2, Corneille d'Amérique - 6, Hirondelle noire - 2, Hirondelle bicolore - 10, Hirondelle rustique - 6, Mésange à tête noir - 4, Sittelle à poitrine blanche - 1, Grive fauve - 2 (entendu), Merle d'Amérique - 10, Moqueur chat - 6, Étourneau sansonnet - 6, Jaseur d'Amérique - 12, Paruline jaune - 10, Paruline masquée - 10, Bruant familier - 3, Bruant chanteur - 10, Bruant des marais - 10, Cardinal à poitrine rose - 1, Carouge à épaulettes - 20, Quiscale bronzé - 6, Oriole de Baltimore - 1 (entendu), Chardonneret jaune - 6