Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 17, 2014

A REWARDING AFTERNOON

By Ron Osborne | Apr 25, 2012

Went by Joy lake yesterday. .Handful of coots and a solo diving duck I couldn't positively identify.

Also roamed Lee county a bit going to and coming home from Keokuk.

Heron Bend Conservation area surrounding the conservation office was great. A group of 16 common egrets and 5 blue herons on the wetlands. They seem to have no problems integrating.

On the river proper a group of 40 (at the minimum) pelicans tightly grouped on some snags several hundred yards from shore. Difficlt time getting a hard count!

Back on the wetlands several yellow legged waders, greater or lesser yellowlegs is my best guess.

Also saw some of these on the backwaters of the river at Montrose along with coots and some shovelers as well as a particularly brilliant male woody bathing in perfect light.

On the borrow pit near Siemens twenty or more pairs of shovelers a lone smallish diver duck of a uniform tan to reddish coloration. I took it to be a female. Very busy and of great lung capacity. More under water than above. Like some of the ducks that have been seen on Joy.

Swans present as usual but couldn't count the usual five as only two were visible at the top of a grassy slope enjoying a meal of grass. With the visible swans was one snow goose and another like bodied goose with white head and an otherwise uniformly gray body. I have no idea what this was. Could it be a morph of the Snow? I believe I read somewhere that such exist. My field guide shows a blue goose that travels through the midwest on migration. The body type was identical to the snow goose and my book indicates that they both are 19" long and both have wingspans of 58 or 59 inches. Perhaps this is what I saw.

Blue-winged teal abundant everywhere I went and very tolerant of close approach on the backwaters at Montrose. On the open parts of the river quite far from shore (100-200 yds. or more) large groups of what I think were shovelers.

A rewarding afternoon.

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