Saturday, March 08, 2008

Migrant Waterfowl

The following message was posted to the listserv of the Berrien Birding Club on Friday, March 7th:
About an hour ago [i.e., about 11:30 am], I stopped to check some open water at the outlet of Pike Lake, which is located on the south side of U.S. 12 about 1 mile east of Dayton Lake in southern Berrien County [Michigan].

Amongst the numerous resident Canada Geese and Mallards, I found about a half-dozen Wood Ducks, a pair of Northern Shovelers, a pair of American Wigeon, at least one [American] Black Duck, and a Mute Swan.

Of special note was a "Canada-type" goose that appeared no larger than the nearby Mallards. It would behoove someone with a decent spotting scope to check this bird more closely for the possibility of Cackling Goose.
The Early Spring 2008 (Volume 12, No. 1) issue of The Berrien Bird Observer, the newsletter of the Berrien Birding Club notes that five Cackling Geese were recorded on the Niles Christmas Bird Count. Niles is located about 5-7 miles east of Pike Lake.

When I check the outflow this afternoon, only the resident Canada Geese, the pair of Northern Shovelers, and the Mute Swan were present. The amount of open water available was much reduced from yesterday.

2 Comments:

Blogger Island Rambles Blog said...

We have had several Cackling Geese arrive here mixed with the Canada Geese this year. They have a short neck and are much smaller. I was surprised at how many I saw this year. Our fields were covered with the same species as you mention here.

March 10, 2008 4:32 PM  
Blogger Jochen said...

IN SE Michigan, around Ann Arbor and Belle Isle (Detroit), there were quite a few records of Cackling in 2007, I was surprised. I saw Cackling Geese on two occasions and would estimate the No. of records for 2007 at being around 10.
The ones we saw however weren't quite as small as Mallards...

March 12, 2008 9:42 AM  

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