Today, Ethan Huner and I went in search of waterfowl for most of the afternoon. We started at Little Lake where duck numbers were down significantly from days earlier. The usual suspects including Ring-necked, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Merganser and Hooded Merganser were present. We then moved on to Mathers Corners where the flooded field is quickly drying up. A pair of Mallards and Am. Black Ducks were present along with many Ring-billed Gulls. We spoke with a landowner at the end of the road who estimates the number of heron nests in the rookery to the southeast to be 100 – whether the number is this large or not it must be quite large based on the number of herons I have seen flying to and from the area in the past. He had also seen the partial albino Red-tailed Hawk that we saw earlier in the week, however we did not see it today. It is a beautiful bird with almost a complete white back contrasting the red tail. Our last stop was at Serpent Mounds* where we found that most of Rice Lake in that area is free of ice. Duck numbers were in the thousands. Heat waves and a scope duct-taped (oops!) to a tripod made viewing the distant birds difficult. Species seen included Redhead, American Wigeon, Common Loon, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked, Mallard, and American Black Duck. I wouldn’t doubt that more time and a functional scope could find additional species. *Note: Serpent Mounds is under construction and posted with No Trespassing signs. Large machinery construction is likely on weekdays.

Location: Little Lake, Mather’s Corners, Serpent Mounds
Observer: Travis Cameron

Categories: Sightings

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.