Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Lucky Duck

Arriving at Beehunter Marsh on August 15, as the sun was just starting to peek over the distant trees, we (my brother and I) were ready to see and video some great birds. We had purchased a new video camera the day before and were ready to see how well it would perform. As we parked and got ready to go, we soon realized we were surrounded by a great variety of grassland bird species. There were at least ten Sedge Wrens on one short stretch of road, which is more than I have ever had in one place at one time in Indiana. There were also many Henslow’s Sparrow and Dickcissels.

This amazing place is located in Greene County and is one of the premier wetlands in all of the Midwest. Goose Pond, when finished, will be over 8000 acres not including Beehunter Marsh (a couple miles east of Goose Pond). With all of the breeding and rare birds arriving at Goose Pond already, it seems that there will be endless possibilities especially when the entire habitat is restored. Some of the southern birds that have already started to breed at Goose Pond include Bell’s Vireo, Black-necked Stilt, and King Rail.

Beehunter Marsh

In the late morning we met up with a group of birder friends to show them the birds on the property. In a short period of time we found Sedge Wren, Black-necked Stilt, Caspian Tern, and Grasshopper and Henslow’s Sparrows. Aside from the many birds found here, you can also enjoy thousands of butterflies. There are many Black, Eastern Tiger, and Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies. After we had a quick lunch we hiked into one of the bigger wetland areas where there was a pair of Blue Grosbeaks. As we were leaving a Little Blue Heron flew directly over our heads, grabbing our attention for a couple of minutes. Right after the Little Blue Heron was out of site we spotted an odd looking duck flying out over the marsh. The flashes of white quickly showed us it was a Black-bellied Whistling- Duck. This duck was found on June 12 but had not been seen since July 16. In the near future, Goose Pond will make many rare Indiana species become much more regular visitors to Indiana.

No comments: