Today was one of those days where I felt the need to go birding despite the grayness on this Ash Wednesday. Kathy was at school for the rest of the afternoon, so not needing any more excuse than that, I made my way up to the lake after picking up my gear at home.
Caesar Creek has been a bevy of activity since the weekend and I’ve been chomping at the bit to get a piece of the action. The most notable bird has been a Franklin’s Gull, which has been seen with regularity at the beach. So my first stop on this abbreviated trip was the beach. Walking past 2 Canadian Geese honking disapprovingly at my encroachment on their turf, I made my way towards the waters edge and the large group of gulls. Being several inches smaller than your typical Ring-billed Gull, I was scanning for the familiar black hood amongst all the other gulls. Dipped again. It’s not like I need this bird for my life list, I just wanted a picture for the old photo album. I was able to get a few pictures of some Greater Scaups that were about a hundred feet of the beach.
My next stop was across Route 73 to the Furnas Shores Boat Ramp. I only spent a few minutes here as I scoped out a few more Greater Scaups, a pair of Buffleheads and a Horned Grebe. My final stop before heading home was my all time favorite spot, Harveysburg Road. Walking down to the edge I noticed 3 darker shapes no more than 1 hundred feet off the end.
And there, right before my eyes were 2 female Surf Scoters and a male Common Goldeneye. There’s been a bit of a buzz about these 2 scoters for a couple of days now, and here they are right in front of me.
Even though this is a crappy picture, you can see the 2 white marks on the head. The female White-winged Scoter has those same kind of facial markings, however the Surf Scoter has a darker top of the head and a darker bill. And no tell tale sign of the small white patch on the wing which would indicate a White-winged Scoter.
With the light fading fast, I bid farewell to Caesar Creek…till Saturday when I work the lake hard for that Franklin’s Gull.
Notable birds for the day include:
- Northern Harrier
- Surf Scoter
- Common Goldeneye
- Greater Scaup
- Pied-billed Grebe
- Horned Grebe
- Canada Goose
- Ring-billed Gull