by Mark Lystig
Twenty-five intrepid birders met at Hanish’s Bakery in Red Wing on Saturday, November 16, 2013 ready to participate in the annual MRVAC trip looking for swans. We left after coffee and their wonderful baked goods and went to Colville Park in Red Wing. The temperature was pleasant for mid-November, and we were fortunate that the rain held off until later. We saw a Bald Eagle, lots of Ring-billed Gulls and Mallards and a Red-bellied Woodpecker at this stop. The various cars traveled independently to Weaver Bottoms. Some cars had the good fortune to see swans pretty close to the road. Before the rest of the group arrived, the birds got spooked by a train and moved further away from the viewing area.
Although it had not been raining when we started, later in the morning a drizzle began that limited the visibility. We saw Tundra Swans and Mallards, Canvasback, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Northern Pintail and Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, and Bufflehead ducks, and American Coot. We left when it started to rain but stopped to check out Rieck’s Lake Park at Alma, WI. Sadly, nothing new there—and not many birds there at all. We ended on a good note: we went to Nelson’s Creamery for lunch—and ice cream.