The highlight of a few hours at Wild Duck Lake this morning was a sighting of four Great Bustards, the world’s heaviest flying bird. I captured this image of two of the group flying into the rising sun at about 0745.
It was a bitter -12 at dawn with a light to moderate westerly wind making it feel even colder. I counted over 350 Common Cranes roosting on the ice and, when they flew, most had retracted legs, making their appearance not unlike a large goose or a bustard. The big surprise was that I didn’t see a single goose of any description all day. Where have the Bean Geese gone?
The freezing temperatures and wind had created some unusual ice sculptures on the reservoir…
A few Whooper Swans were roaming around in between periods lazing on the ice. This group looks like a family flock – 2 adults and 2 young birds.
A Chinese Grey Shrike sat on a post overlooking a large reedbed and called constantly for about 2-3 minutes. You can hear it here:
Full species list: