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Field Notes No. 18 (Jan 2, 2012)

Monday, January 2, 2012, 1:30-3:30. Sunny, temperature in the 20's, brisk wind blowing from the northwest. The wind has helped prevent the water from freezing in the lakes and the only ice today is that which is frozen on the rocky shoreline. When the wind dies tonight, the lakes will most surely freeze over.

I walked around the lakes today with Kevin Kane. We took our cameras and took a lot of pictures. Kevin has created a blog with lots of information. Anyone can read or post messages of observations at the Park. The link is:
http://adahaydenpark.blogspot.com/. This will be a great supplement to the web site. Kevin and I met Wolf Oesterreich who later posted the following report that you can also find on the blogspot.

From my house I spotted four Trumpeter Swans (2 adults and 2 immatures) on the south lake this morning. They have been present all day. While on my daily ride at the Park, I was able to obtain the ID (#7K4) off of the neck collar on ! the only adult to have one. This bird is a female from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. She was hatched in 2005 and was released 1 mile south of Granger, IA, on 10 May 2006. I have seen her before at Ada Hayden (2007) and at the ISU Kelley Farm (2007, 2009, & 2010) in Boone County. With #8K4 (male) she raised 6 cygnets in 2009 and 2 in 2010, although I'm not sure the latter survived as the pond's plug failed and all the water drained out.

Of the three Snow Geese that had been present at the Park for much of December, only the white juvenile was present today. In addition to the Cackling & Canada Geese, the raft of Mallards, and the female Bufflehead, I found a pair of Gadwalls and a female American Wigeon. Two adult Bald Eagles were perched side-by-side in a tree below the bluff (north side of the south lake). Two immatures would be seen later. A bright blue male Eastern Bluebird was found along the Upland Trail, just west of Jensen Pond.

The wind ! wasn't quite as strong as yesterday, but it was definitely colder (causing my nose to run constantly).

I ended the year (2011) with 205 avian species at the Park. Three species (Ruff, Glaucous Gull, & Bohemian Waxwing) were added to my Park List, bringing the total to 257 species. The official list for Iowa has 425 species, so that means I have recorded 60% at the Park.