Sam and I joined ASCA this cold Saturday for a no expense paid tour of the waste water treatment ponds and Magness Lake for swans. It was cold, sunny but well below freezing all day long, the coldest day of winter so far and probably the coldest day of the entire winter to come.
We arrived at the sewage ponds at 12:30. All but one of the ponds were completely frozen over and that one was mostly frozen. Ducks and geese were mostly walking around on the ice. No extraordinary finds but we did have 51 Hooded Mergansers, about 50 Ring-billed Gull, abound 20 each of Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, and Common Goldeneye, plus smaller numbers of Shoveler and Black Vulture.
Later we arrived at Magness Lake. As expected there were many Trumpeter Swans (good), plus many Ring-necked Ducks and Canada Goose which are also regulars. Unusual birds there were 1 Canvasback, 1 Mute Swan, 1 maybe more Cackling Goose, 4 Ross’s Goose, 1 Snow Goose (who knew there was ever just one?), 1 Wood Duck, and 1 American Wigeon.
Due to the early date, I picked 17 year birds bringing that list to 88 by day’s end.