Four of us headed out on the morning of the 15th not knowing just what we'd see, but there has always been something special. No exception today. A smudge of a rainbow over 'the front' greeted us as we got near the Valier exit. High winds were whipping the lake to a froth until nearly 11 am. No problem for Dan, Velda, Beth and special guest Sage. We were able to get out to the island and proceeded to walk around the circumference. We were able to spot: Coot by the thousand, American Wigeon, Black-bellied Plover (2), Mallard by the hundred, Northern Pintail, Western Grebe, a Clarks Grebe, Eared and Horned Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Buffleheads, Common Raven, Black-billed Magpie , Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Rock Pigeon, Ring-bill Gull, Canada Geese, an immature Bald Eagle, one Greater Yellowlegs, a Red-tail hawk, Starlings, Northern Flicker, Eurasian Collared Dove and of course Common Loons. Around near the lighthouse we added Ring-necked Pheasant, House Sparrow, Horned Lark, Green-winged Teal, 4 White-winged Scoter (a male with female or young), and a hundred more Common Loons!! Continuing a loop to go past Priest Butte Lake we added more: Ruddy Duck, Canvasback. At Freezout Lake we saw an empty lake but managed to add a few more birds to the day: American White Pelican, Vesper Sparrow (saw the white outer tail feathers) and a nice long look at an American Pipit. There had to have been more than 130 loons on the water we were able to scope and there was a lot of water that was too far, into the sun, glare...just how many were there? Great trip, great birds, great car buddies.
Audubon Board Members maintain this blog of chapter activities.