Date: 11/8/19 2:39 pm
From: Tom Wood <tcwood729...>
Subject: [wisb] Early arrival of winter at Horicon NWR and vicinity
As one might expect with temperatures overnight in the teens, Horicon NWR is
mostly frozen over, and the nice variety and numbers of waterfowl present
last week are no longer in the area. Not a single Tundra Swan was seen by me
today.
Nevertheless, there was interesting birding. The autotour had a few normal
winter passerines, and I was surprised to see a Bufflehead and 3 Ruddy Ducks
surviving in a tiny patch of water in the last pond of the autotour. While
scoping them, I heard the bugling of Trumpeter Swans, and 15 landed on the
ice and preened and rested.
Along STH49 at the pond across from the historical marker, some Canada Geese
and Mallards were huddled up against the island, while 3 immature Bald
Eagles worked the area. There has been at least one Rough-legged Hawk
working the area since last week, and it sometimes perches in the tall dead
tree on the eastern side of the marsh along STH49.
North of the marsh, along Oak Center Road about .4 miles east of
Johnson/Townline Rd., I saw a distant Northern Shrike.
Ledge and Point Roads on the eastern side of the marsh had Snow Buntings, an
American Pipit, and the usual Dark-eyed Juncos, Tree Sparrows, and Horned
Larks.
I drove east on Ledge Road to Centerline Road, and from here down to CTH H
in the cornfield on the east side of Centerline Road were over 400 Sandhill
Cranes. Some were obviously young of the year. A few more Snow Buntings were
in the area too.
Finally, I headed toward Main Dike Road which was very dead, but near the
intersection of Rockvale Road and Dike Road, I saw two Lapland Longspurs
with the Horned Larks on the side of the road to top off this wintry trip.
Thomas Wood, Menomonee Falls, Waukesha County

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