“Horicon National Wildlife Refuge – Fall 2022 Waterbird Blog
This is week six of waterbird surveys at the refuge for the fall migration. Southeastern WI had a hard freeze this week and the first snowfall. Many impoundments had thin ice on the survey this morning.
Canada goose numbers remain low this week. Only around 20,000 were counted on the refuge. Fall corn harvest continues as farmers combine corn. Check out these harvested fields as the geese make several flights out of the marsh each day to feed.
Dabbling ducks were most numerous on this week’s survey –around 26,000. Top species seen in the thousands were gadwall, mallards, American wigeon, green-winged teal, Northern pintails, and Northern shovelers. Other species with less than 100 each included: blue-winged teal, wood ducks and black ducks.
Diving duck numbers dropped slightly from last week to around 1500. Ruddy ducks, ring-necked ducks, and redheads are here in the hundreds. Other species with less than 100 each included: hooded mergansers, lesser scaup, canvasbacks and a couple buffleheads.
Other sightings to note:
Check out the large rafts of American coot floating along HWY49 on the south side. More than 10,000 coot are gathering at the refuge right now.
Shorebird use continues in the first impoundment along the auto tour (along the right). Greater and lesser yellowlegs, dowitchers, and killdeer can be seen in good numbers.
Look in the last impoundment along the auto tour (right side) – gadwall, American wigeon, and Northern pintails remain in large flocks.
The best closeup viewing of waterfowl is along the auto tour. The south side of Hwy 49 had the highest number of species spotted with some large flocks of ducks and coot.”