Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lake City Eagles, Gulls and Ducks

I crossed the Mississippi River to look for migrating birds this afternoon.  I found them in Lake City.

 Riverfront Park at Reads Landing, MN - looking south on the flooded Upper Mississippi River
I stopped along the way at all the usual places.  We didn't see many birds at Reads Landing -  only a flock of Cedar Waxwings feasting on the insects swarming in the cottonwoods.  No ice.  No eagles.  No waterfowl. 

Further up Highway 61, the Mississippi was still covered with a very thin sheet of gray ice.  I couldn't resist stopping to look for eagles. 

 A tourist looking north at eagles on the ice on the Upper Mississippi River north of Reads Landing

First stop: the Lake Pepin sign.  Looking north, we spotted rows of eagles sitting on the ice, loafing and fishing from the holes left by ice-fishermen.

Camp Lacupolis:  my first of the season pair of Common Mergansers.  The minute I spotted them, they dove, and bobbed back to the surface too far away to photograph.

Lake City Sportsman's Club:  Herring Gulls and a lone Ring-billed.

 Ring-billed Gull in Breeding Plumage

The jetty at Lake City Marina:  Dozens of Bald Eagles and gulls on the ice flows.  Worth the walk down to the light.

A pair of Lesser Scaup at Lake City's Ohuta Park

Ohuta Park (Park and Chestnut Streets):  A Bald Eagle (a sad story), tangled up in fishing line - clearly starving, but still flying short distances - I contacted the National Eagle Center;  and a raft of waterfowl (Red-headed ducks, Lesser Scaup and American Coots).

Before we headed home, we stopped to see what's up at Colvill Park in Redwing.   It was flooded!

No eagles.  No waterfowl.   Just a lot of very fast moving water.

A sign at the exit says the park will be closed Wednesday.   Flood waters will crest later this week.

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