Morning Birding at Hallam Lake 10/05/21
Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 8am-11am
Weather: Mostly Sunny
Location: Hallam Lake
Birding was especially interesting today as we explored (with permission and ACES escort) into the closed part of the preserve where construction is underway to repair the earthen berm and enhance habitat. We were surprised to note the amount of bird activity in the drained lake area despite the machinery at work there. We also noted lots of flyover activity as mallards, blackbirds, and other birds flew in to land both in the drained lake area and in the back wetlands. One flyover was a shorebird, not seen well enough to identify to species, but likely a Wilson's snipe. We delighted in observing birds through the scope to see their detailed field marks and behaviors: an immature great blue heron, a red-tailed hawk, pine siskins preening in the spruce tops, and a female kingfisher. Mallards are looking beautiful as the males molt in their iridescent green head feathers, and their feeding behavior was just as vigorous as it was last week when the lake was initially drained — lots of full-head probing into clumps of aquatic vegetation as they find food items. It was fascinating to learn more about the project and to see the equipment at work. We saw piles of beaver sticks and debris from the beavers' nightly work to try to dam flowing water. Birds have capitalized on the newly accessible foods in the exposed lake bed, and the changing conditions will continue to be very interesting as wildlife adapt. Join us next Tuesday at Rock Bottom Ranch!
Great Blue Heron
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo of Evening Grosbeak by Eric Ellingson.