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“Horicon National Wildlife Refuge – Fall 2022 Waterbird Blog
This is week nine of waterbird surveys at the refuge for the fall migration. Mild fall weather conditions persisted throughout SE Wisconsin. Along with the mild weather came strong winds exceeding 40 mph on November 5th.
Canada goose numbers increased to nearly 32,000 this week.
Dabbling ducks increased on this week’s survey to around 57,000. More than 40,000 mallards were counted. Top species (listed in order of abundance) seen in the thousands were mallards, green-winged teal, American wigeon, Northern shovelers, and gadwall. Other species in the hundreds included Northern pintails and black ducks.
Diving duck numbers continue to remain low – around 1000. Ring-necked ducks, lesser scaup, and ruddy ducks were counted in the hundreds. Redheads, canvasbacks, hooded mergansers and buffleheads were counted with less than 100 of each species.
Other sightings to note:
Huge increase in mallards. More than 40,000 are here. Lots of black ducks are mixed in the mallard flocks.
More than 500 tundra swans are here. Their fall migration stop is very short. They will only be here for about a week. You may hear lots of whistling as large flocks migrate over Horicon Marsh.
Thousands of sandhill cranes are still gathering at the marsh for their annual stopover (staging). You can watch their daily flights in and out of the marsh. Sunrise and one hour before sunset are the best times to see large flocks transition between the roosting and feeding grounds.
Shorebird migration is ending – a few dunlins, yellowlegs and dowitchers are hanging around mudflats.
Notably absent – American white pelicans, cormorants, egrets, great blue herons, blue-winged teal and wood ducks.”