Duck, duck, duck… CORMORANT!
Yesterday was a a fun day! Megan and I went to the North Dakota Game and Fish main office to sit on a talk by Bretty Wiedmann on the reintroduction program of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) that started in 1956 when they translocated the California subspecies from British Columbia genetics into North Dakota and more recently the translocation of Montana sheep. And also about the effects that human foot travelers have on ewes and lambs. I am not sure how much I can say about his talk since his work has not yet been published, but overall it was awesome and I learned a lot!
After the talk Dan offered to take us on a tour of the nearby country side and wetlands maintained by NDGF and Ducks Unlimited. The wetlands particularly excited me because I tend to geek out when it comes to ducks. We saw many awesome birds, I won’t bore you with a complete list, but I will list a few of my favorites. We saw double-crested cormorants (Phalacocorax auritus), tons of blue-winged teals (Anas discors), northern shovelers (Anas clypeata), American coot (Fulica americana), Western grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis), ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), redhead (Aythya americana), and American white pelican (Pelecanidae erythrohynchos). We did not see my personal favorite duck, the northern pintail, but Dan said they are prevalent in the area, so I’ll have to go back on my own time and search for them. It was a great time and the country side here is absolutely stunningly beautiful!
We ended the night by heading over to Bismarck’s RibFest. I chose my BBQ from a smokehouse from Norfolk, VA since I was just in that area last week to enjoy the beach. It was absolutely delicious! Nom nom nom..