3/13/2014 Migration

I woke up before sunrise this morning for some reason, still dark out, it looked cloudy, so I went back to bed, changed my mind and decided to head down to Cone Marsh in hopes of seeing the sunrise and some migrating waterfowl. It was a bit overcast and there was only a little open water far from road, but there were lots of geese (Canada, greater white-fronts and snow geese), a few trumpeter swans, pintails, scaup and wood ducks among other puddle ducks. ┬áRed-winged black birds and red-bellied woodpeckers were squawking in the trees and amidst all the racket the distinctive “loud, resonant, musical rattle” of sandhill cranes across the ice.

Cone Marsh, Muscatine County, Iowa.

Cone Marsh, Muscatine County, Iowa.

Sunrise, geese, Cone Marsh.

Sunrise, geese, Cone Marsh.

 

Geese and ducks over ice, Cone Marsh.

Geese and ducks over ice, Cone Marsh.

"Snows & Blues", snow and blue geese, Cone Marsh.

“Snows & Blues”, snow and blue geese, Cone Marsh.

Skeins of snow geese, Cone Marsh.

Skeins of snow geese, Cone Marsh.

Greater white-front geese (Anser albifrons), Cone Marsh.

Greater white-front geese (Anser albifrons), Cone Marsh.

Sandhill cranes, Cone Marsh, Muscatine Co., Iowa.

Sandhill cranes, Cone Marsh, Muscatine Co., Iowa.

Sandhill crane and Canada geese, Cone Marsh.

Sandhill crane and Canada geese, Cone Marsh.