With an extra day off due to the holiday, I made a run down to Goose Pond. And as we just got a new car for my daughter which gets great mileage, I didn’t feel as guilty on the gas money. One Hundred Ninety-eight miles total on 4.5 gallons of gas ($15.80) – 44 miles to the gallon. And as usual I brought a PBJ for lunch, so no cash outlay there. But I did stop at Starbucks in Martinsville…
After going out early yesterday to Atterbury FWA and not having great visibility until the fog lifted, I waited today to leave so I would arrive around 8AM after the fog would hopefully have lifted. Which it had. But the drive was mostly in fog.
Mute Swan yesterday at Atterbury FWA in fog
While at Goose Pond I birded from the Double Ditches for a couple of hours, the bridge at 1200W for a couple of hours, and checked out the other units but didn’t spend much time at those locations.
On the way to the bridge at 1200W I got my best view and photos ever of a very cooperative Northern Bobwhite. He was first in the road and then flew onto a little snag. What more to say?
The terns were present and flying around the island.
Goose Pond looking north towards the island from the bridge at 1200W .
From 400 meters it was obvious they were Least Terns. Since the distance was to great for photos and the island is restricted I made sketches from the scope view. I know there have only been 2 terns reported plus the young ones but I swear there were four. Two groups of two flying at different ends of the island. I’ll wait and hear back from others to see if I was seeing things.
Least Tern sketch – just to show how I document birds in conjunction with a voice recorder. I’m not a great artist, but I can usually get the essence down.
While watching from the bridge Black-necked Stilts kept constantly flying by with there legs extended back, even when I was under the tree over the bridge.
Then one went by with legs extended, but it was brown. Which through me off. A Greater Yellowlegs, early, but not exceptionally.
As stated, I didn’t see much in the NW units but there were Cliff Swallows coming out from under a bridge. This gives me hope that Johnson County might have nesting Cliff Swallows since I always thought Cliff Swallows needed a large, high bridge. It appears I was incorrect and can now start checking more bridges.
Cliff Swallow Bridge
At noon I decided to go back and walk out the double ditches. Glad I did. While out there I heard Common Gallinules calling on both sides. Then I thought I was hearing things when I heard a Sandhill Crane call for about 10 minutes. I never could locate it but when I got home I saw on eBird that Don Gorney had one listed on July 1. And when I got back to the car a couple of guys were trying to fish on the west side of the road. They made so much noise that they flushed a Least Bittern. It flew about 20 meters in front of me and landed about 50 meters out. I got great views but it dropped before I got a picture. Nice way to end the day.