Thursday, July 5, 2012

Black Necked Stilt

Beehunter Marsh, Indiana
On Father's Day weekend, we took a little drive out to Goose Pond and Beehunter Marsh to do a little birdwatching. 

It's a real test of a bird sanctuary to see what cool birds are around in the middle of the day in the middle of June on a 90 degree day.  

A real test of the people silly enough to try it, too.  

Our expectations for bird watching were low. 

Beehunter was quiet.  We didn't walk far enough to where we'd seen the bald eagle before, but we did see some geese.

The girls said that geese were boring.    K2 wanted ducks.   You know how she loves her ducks.

Lily was only going to be impressed by something spectacular, like the whooping cranes we saw there a couple of years ago. 

So we got back in the car and drove on to Goose Pond. 
Egrets and great blue heron, Goose Pond, Indiana

Goose Pond is so wet now that it's full of water now, even after all those 90 degree days with no rain.  

That's the power of clay. 

We pulled off Hwy 59, to watch for birds.  

We saw a lot of egrets and a lot of herons.

A. Lot.  

And we kept seeing a smaller bird flying around that was black with a big white tail.    We were patient and finally saw some wading and close enough to photograph.

Black necked stilt and egret, 6/17/2012, Goose Pond, Indiana
That little black and white bird on the left near the white egret is a black necked stilt.

Black necked stilta are pretty common - on the other side of the Mississippi River.

As in,  woo-hoo!  This is a spectacular bird sighting.   Very rare for Indiana.

In the middle of the day.

In the middle of June.

When it's 90 degrees outside. 

And a stiff breeze is blowing.

We'd never seen anything like it and had forgotten the bird books [of course!], so we had to look it up when we got home that evening.  

Lily figured out what it was and she was, indeed, impressed. 

Black necked stilt, 6/17/2012, Goose Pond, Indiana
So were the rest of us. 

I can definitely recommend Goose Pond NWR as a fabulous birding site, even at the most unlikely times and seasons.    You never know what you're going to see there. 

Egrets and black necked stilt, 6/17/2012, Goose Pond, Indiana

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