Thursday, April 15, 2010

Willow Slough and Pine Creek

On Monday, a couple of birding friends, Ted, Mary Lou and Brenda, and I headed up to northwestern Indiana to visit Willow Slough FWA and Pine Creek Game Bird Habitat. We arrived nice and early but didn't find anything along the first road we tried. We proceeded on to the headquarters but the windy conditions made it very difficult to scan the lake through the waves. There were some ducks on the lake including Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, and Mallard as well as Coots and a Pied-billed Grebe.

The next stop was a marsh on the northern end of the lake. Here we were finally rewarded for our efforts. immediately as we got out of the car a raptor flew over. While it was only a short look, I was able to identify it as a Broad-winged Hawk. A Sora started calling shortly after we arrived and a Virginia Railed called one time while we were there. As we started to hike back to the car, I heard a Sora call. As I looked back I noticed a group of 9 American White Pelicans soaring over the trees. Everyone was very excited and we could even see the bump on the bill that they have during the breeding season!

After a quick drive through Kankakee Sands with little to note, we headed to a site that had recently been reported to have a Western Meadowlark. After driving through many cornfields and making a few wrong turns, we finally got to the area. While we were scanning one field for meadowlarks, I heard the Western singing behind me. It took us over 10 minutes to find the individual but we finally did! It was a lifer for Mary Lou and a great year bird for me (#153 for the year).

We had a great lunch at a local restaurant in Kentland and then headed down to Benton County to visit Pine Creek. Unfortunately, we had very little in the area other than a very large number of Blue-winged Teal. We ended the day with 61 species. We all had a great time and enjoyed the beautiful but windy weather!

1 comment:

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like a great birding day! COngrats on the western meadowlark sighting.