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.

2 Comments:

Anonymous AM said...

Great picture.

4/17/2007  
Blogger Jeff Durbin said...

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

4/17/2007  

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