April 09, 2007

Four-mammal day

86 greater yellowlegs
87 cinnamon teal
88 double-crested cormorant
89 dunlin
(total on this date in 2006: 84)

APRIL 9, EAGLE BLUFFS, cloudy, 50—Missouri waterfowl demographics are in flux. Eagle Bluffs is almost mallardless, a reversal from the hundreds to thousands that dominate the flooded fields in February and March.

An out-of-its-range cinnamon teal, reported by local birders, swam among a group of blue-winged teal (photos here). Blue- and green-winged teal, gadwall, and coot numbers are trending up, shovelers hold steady, and ring-necked ducks and pintails have mostly moved north.

But it's migrating shorebirds I most want to see. A small pockets of dunlins probed the mud and a single yellowlegs flew over, earlycomers for the season.

Deer are common here, but a muskrat, two beavers, and raccoon made four mammal sightings for the day. To make five we looked for an otter we'd seen at its den in March, with no luck.


Anonymous AM said...

Great picture.

Blogger Jeff Durbin said...

Thanks! Those are great blue heron tracks next to an outlet to the Missouri River. They look dinosaur-like.


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