Bismarck-Mandan Bird Club

Wow! This summer is cruising by. I feel as though it just started last week, but no. The older I get, the faster the time flies. It seemed just a month ago our feathered friends were returning from their winter homes and now will begin their southern journey once again here in coming weeks.

This past weekend, I had a chance to head up to the “Big Lake” aka Lake Sakakawea for some fishing and relaxation. What a great weekend it was. The weather reminded me yes, it is very much summer yet, and it was a hot weekend with flat water. Fishing was a bit challenging, but the lake never disappoints with its scenery and wildlife.

While on the water, several thousand gulls were staging and foraging in the shorelines where lake levels have dropped and provided excellent foraging habitat. Franklin’s gulls, ring-billed gulls, and California gulls were observed. Also identified along lake shorelines included Canada geese, common terns, killdeer, greater yellowlegs, mallards, and just this morning, a Caspian tern was identified! At least I’m fairly confident it was a Caspian!

As we cruised around Independence Island, an eagle nest was observed and two eagles were observed nearby! It never gets old observing eagles. I hope the eagles were finding a few fish as well. The large, American white pelicans were observed in a few flocks cruising overhead searching for fishing areas among the boaters.

While it’s hot, I hope you all get a chance to get outdoors, head to your nearby lake or river, enjoy a dip to cool down and get to observe some water birds before they begin their southern flights.

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