On Friday, May 2nd, my uncle had a road trip planned to take our two families up to the northwest corner of Wisconsin. Exactly one week before, someone reported a Garganey at Crex Meadows, up in Grantsburg, WI. Since the bird was still present and this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to tick a Garganey -and especially in Wisconsin- our route was changed.
We arrived at Abel Rd. in the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area at 5pm, and shortly after I was able to view the Garganey through a fellow birder’s spotting scope at approximately 265 yards. Through my own binoculars, the bird was an un-identifiable speck, and I could not even find it through my camera lens. However, through the scope, the markings were clear and crisp, and the bird seemed to be dabbling but ten feet away. Several times the Garganey, along with the pair of Blue-winged Teal with which it was keeping company, disappeared from view into smaller inlets through the reeds, but made appearances enough to be seen by each birder present. Success in a birding trip! Always a feeling of accomplishment when the bird being pursued is finally logged into your birding records.
After a while of watching the Garganey, I headed back to our van and we continued down the road through the flowages and marshy land. We saw a total of 37 bird species that day, including Horned Grebe, Common Loon, Semipalmated Plover, and everyone’s favorite; Belted Kingfisher.
Many thanks to my family for supporting my birding hobbies, and to fellow birders who offer the use of their equipment to those who do not have as good a view. I am very grateful!