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Lake DuBay - Portage County 4/2/23

By Rob Pendergast

Regional Field Trip Leader

 Six birders braved the more winter-like conditions at Lake DuBay. While the lake was still mostly frozen, the shift in wind overnight helped push a few birds into the area. 



Lake DuBay Sunrise - Photo By Rob Pendergast

We started scanning the patch of open water north of Co E; 64 TUNDRA SWANS were resting on the ice. RING-NECKED DUCKS, BUFFLEHEAD, and HOODED MERGANSERS were present on the water, and a COMMON LOON arrived after the sun started peaking over the trees. While we scanned the waterfowl, a BELTED KINGFISHER made a few passes, and a COMMON RAVEN passed by. A TUFTED TITMOUSE was singing to the west. 


Photo by Rob Pendergast

We next headed to the access point west of the dam. With the sun at our backs, we had great views of WOOD DUCKS, AMERICAN WIGEON, 100+ RING-NECKED DUCKS, LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED MERGANSER, PIED-BILLED GREBE, and AMERICAN COOTS. During our scan, a pair of TRUMPETER SWANS trumpeted as they flew over the dike. Several more flocks of TUNDRA SWANS also passed by in the distance. Perhaps most unusual for Lake DuBay was a flock of approximately 35 TURKEY VULTURES lifted from their overnight roost and began heading north over the lake. 


Lake DuBay Ducks - Photo by Rob Pendergast

Upon descending the dike, a slight breeze kicked up. The slight breeze would end up hindering our efforts to find any passerines in the wooded area below the dike. We did catch a brief glimpse of a NORTHERN HARRIER making its way north. 

We finished the morning with 37 species. Thanks to all that attended; it was a fun morning despite the cold temperatures and stubborn, seemingly eternal ebbing of winter.