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 Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

Early Waterfowl Tour

Saturday, April 06, 2024 6:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

Well, we had a much better turnout, species count, and weather than last year's waterfowl tour.  Fourteen JAS members and family turned out for a five stop tour of Jackson Counties wonderful lakes.  

We started at Watkins Lake State Park on the eastern border of the county near Manchester.  This was the longest stop, but also the largest and most productive.  

Watkins Lake (Steve Jerant)

We observed 41 taxa including 13 waterfowl species.  Of note were a Merganser hat trick (Common/Hooded/Red-breasted), 2 Canvasback, Wilson's Snipe, and what would be our first Horned Grebe.    The usual suspects were also out in force: Ruddy Duck, Ring-necked Duck, and coming in for  several landings over our head, the Canada Goose. 

(Doug Leffler)

Next, we caravanned over to Little Wolf Lake which was our least active stop of the morning.  Our only Great Blue Heron was spotted here.

Driving north, we next stopped at Grass Lake for a view from the playground park.  Here we tallied a Redhead, Common Goldeneye, and American Wigeon.

Moving on to the Portage Lake County Park, we no longer had the sun in our eyes but had the wind in our face.  It took a lot of squinting and head bobbing with the waves but finally had some decent view of a Common Loon. We also got more Horned Grebe. 

The last stop was the jackpot.  Driving north on Welch Lake Rd. off Seymour is a great wildfowl spot called Cutler & Dunn Rd. wetland.  This is usually a very reliable location for Northern Pintail.  It get 5 stars today with an estimated 300 Pintail joined by scores of Green-wing Teal.  We counted 19 species, of which 12 were waterfowl.  Three Lesser Yellowlegs joined the gang of ducks in the water. 

Cutler & Dunn Rds. wetland (Steve Jerant)

An eBird trip report of the five checklists is available at

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