Thursday, March 13, 2008

Magee / Metzger March 13

In the area of Magee Marsh / Ottawa Natl Wildlife Refuge / Metzger Marsh, things are changing daily now, with big numbers of waterfowl moving in and moving around. Today I checked out Magee and Metzger, and found some changes already from what Karl Overman had reported yesterday. Metzger Marsh was still more than half frozen, but in the areas of open water I carefully estimated 2800 Redheads, 850 Ring-necked Ducks, 500 Gadwalls, 250 Canvasbacks, 100 N. Pintails, and lesser numbers of ten other duck species. Magee is still mostly frozen, but there was much more open water visible from the causeway today than yesterday, and a decent number of Redheads, Am. Black Ducks, Tundra Swans, and others. Killdeers are still arriving in force; I saw / heard close to 40 today, in half a dozen spots. Red-winged Blackbirds and Com Grackles are increasing in numbers daily, but I was surprised to see no Rusty Blackbirds today. The field on the north side of the road on the way in to Metzger Marsh was one good spot for them last spring; today I carefully checked the Red-wings and grackles in that field and found no Rusties, but there was one male Brewer's Blackbird there. Greg Links has recommended "scanning blackbird flocks in eastern Lucas County in March" to find Brewer's, and it worked today.

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