Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

Early Waterfowl Tour

Saturday, April 02, 2022 8:11 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

The nine JAS members had pretty good weather this morning for the annual Early Waterfowl tour.   With the exception of the elusive Canvasback, the group spotted most of the species that are normally seen at this time of year in Jacksopn County.  A total of 64 birds, including 24 waterfowl species, were observed in the six lakes and wetlands we visited.  Of note were a bevy of Horned Grebes at Gilletts Lake and a great number of Pintails at both Dunn/Cutler and Hahenle Sanctuary.

While expectations were low for our fist stop at Watkins Lake SP, 39 species were seen, including 10 waterfowl.  We had great views of both the active Eagle and Red-tailed Hawk nests on the west side of the lake.  A group of 3 Bonaparte's Gulls did a flyby while we were heading back to the cars. 


Steve Jerant

The next stop at Norvell Lake (west) was fair, with a few waterfowl species.  Ross and Penny were able to squeeze a Northern Shoveler out of our visit.

We expected Gillet's lake to be the best stop and were not disappointed.  Three  Common Loons and 28 Horned Grebe were observed.  And yes, that set off the eBird alarm.  

Early scouting of Wolf and Grass lakes we not favorable so we headed up to the wetlands on Cutler & Dunn Rds.  There were lots of Northern Pintail and both Teal species.  The sun came out a bit so the colors showed well on these dusks as they promenaded for us.  

From there we went east on Seymour Rd. to the Portage Lake Park on...Portage Lake Rd.  The Tree Swallows were abundant and Don did us the service of counting them: 109.


Steve Jerant

The last stop on the tour was at the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary.  Three sets of Northern Pintails were seen over Mud Lake Marsh as well as Eagle Lake. The group checked out the marsh from the overlook then walked over to Eagle Lake.  There was a god deal of activity there viewed from the platform.

Before finishing up for the day, a Field Sparrow was heard calling to remind us that even though it was in the 30s and it snowed yesterday, spring is here. 

eBird Trip Checklist

Species observed

Canada Goose 162

Mute Swan 11

Trumpeter Swan 3

Wood Duck 21

Blue-winged Teal 14

Northern Shoveler 6

Gadwall 2

American Wigeon 33

Mallard 22

American Black Duck 1

Northern Pintail 33

Green-winged Teal 11

Redhead 1

Ring-necked Duck 317

Greater Scaup 2

Lesser Scaup 4

Bufflehead 37

Hooded Merganser 10

Common Merganser 26

Red-breasted Merganser 2

Wild Turkey 5

Pied-billed Grebe 17

Horned Grebe 28

Mourning Dove 6

American Coot 45

Sandhill Crane 12

Killdeer 4

Wilson's Snipe 1

Bonaparte's Gull 14

Common Loon 5

Great Blue Heron 3

Turkey Vulture 7

Osprey 1

Northern Harrier 2

Cooper's Hawk 2

Bald Eagle 4

Red-tailed Hawk 3

Belted Kingfisher 1

Red-bellied Woodpecker 4

Downy Woodpecker 2

Pileated Woodpecker 1

Northern Flicker 5

American Kestrel 2

Blue Jay 1

American Crow 7

Black-capped Chickadee 4

Tufted Titmouse 2

Horned Lark 2

Tree Swallow 172

White-breasted Nuthatch 2

Carolina Wren 1

European Starling 1

Eastern Bluebird 4

American Robin 9

Cedar Waxwing 7

House Sparrow 2

American Goldfinch 4

Field Sparrow 1

American Tree Sparrow 2

Song Sparrow 14

Eastern Meadowlark 1

Red-winged Blackbird 101

Common Grackle 17

Northern Cardinal 7

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