Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An April Big Day in Indiana: The Conclusion

I left off on my last post with us leaving Bloomington and heading for Goose Pond. Along the way, we spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk flying over the road and found our first Rock Pigeon of the day in Bloomfield. After getting Horned Lark to tie last year's total at 119, we got a Blue Grosbeak to go ahead and we still weren't even on the property yet. While driving along the country roads we added a calling Bobwhite and found one of the birds that we were shocked to have missed to this point, House Wren.

House Wren
We easily found some of the common species that we were expecting at Goose Pond and our next big surprise was bird number 130. I noticed a group of three birds quite high overhead. At first I thought they might be cranes while some of the others on the team thought they might just be cormorants. Luckily, we were able to get a scope on them and Eric identified them as an ibis species. We were never able to see them well enough to  get a solid identification so they are on our list as a Plegadis Ibis species.

We continued on to take a look at Main Pool and were hoping that the ibis might be found there but we had no luck on that front. As a consolation we had our only hummingbird of the day fly over the road, heard a Grasshopper Sparrow and Virginia Rail,  saw a Wilson's Snipe.

Over at the Double Ditches parking area, we  saw a few Bank Swallows and heard a Marsh Wren for our 140th species. We spent the next couple of hours running all over the property trying to add a few more species. Our final bird of the day was an American Woodcock from the DNR barn at sunset. This brought our total to 143. We had several birds that we missed that we really expected to get but sometimes, that is just how big days go. We are really hoping that we set the bar high enough that none of the other teams will be able to surpass it even though they have the advantage of more migrants.

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