Monday, March 8, 2010

Marsh Madness at Goose Pond FWA - Watery Wednesday

This past weekend the annual Marsh Madness event was held at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area. Rob and I assisted with it by manning one of the stopping points for a couple hours. This event is planned to coincide with the peak of the Sandhill Crane migration and is based around viewing Sandhills. After arriving at our spot, a few of the other volunteers reported that nobody had come by in the last two hours so we weren't expecting many people. Luckily we had quite a few people come by and quite a few of them were interested in seeing the ducks as well as the hundreds of Sandhill Cranes viewable from our spot.

Just a very small portion of the Sandhills that seemed to be migrating north.

One of the flocks of Sandhills that was feeding in an agricultural field.

We birded many areas around Goose Pond in the morning before manning Beehunter. The main unit of Goose Pond, Main Pool West, was loaded with waterfowl. On our way to the unit we had a flock of about 30 American Pipits in a field and while checking in we had 2 Wilson's Snipes at the main check-in station. The highlight of Main Pool West was 250+ Greater White-fronted Geese. They have become common during migration at Goose Pond but are irregular elsewhere in the state. There were also 2 Tundra Swans feeding among the thousands of ducks.

One of the fields at Beehunter Marsh that was full of ducks. There were many species including Redhead, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, American Wigeon, and Northern Shoveler.

Luckily for us while we were showing people the many Sandhill Cranes, a single Whooping Crane flew in. For the next hour of our time spent there, the Whooping Crane was in sight. After the event we drove out through Beehunter and came across a flock of blackbirds that contained a couple thousand individuals. We were lucky enough to pick out some Rusty Blackbirds from thousands of Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Brown-headed Cowbirds.


Maria said...

Lovly water images:)

Hedwig said...

So many cranes, exciting. We have some lakes here in Sweden too, where the cranes take some rest during their journey to the north.

Jim said...

Great shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Johnny Nutcase said...

Looks and sounds like fun! I really miss seeing sandhills. Love those cranes!

Rinkly Rimes said...

Ah! Sandhill CRANES! I thought Sandhills was an unusual name for a bird! I learn something new every day!

eileeninmd said...

It must be cool to see all those Cranes and the one Whooping Crane. It soudns like you had a great outing. Lots of great birds there. I keep missing the Wilson Snipe. Maybe someday I will actually see one.

Randi said...

Looks exiting and fun! We have more than 8.000 cranes every day in April on a small lake. Lots of people come to watch the cranes and it is a real show they are putting on here.

Hootin' Anni said...

Ohmygosh....this would be a photographers paradise to be there!!! Wow!!!!

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