Here’s a 40 second video confirming the identification. The calls, flight pattern and markings secured the species (a lifer).
A talk with a park ranger verified that Whistling ducks have been regular migrants to the refuge for years. I was surprised because of the ranges shown on Audubon and Cornell sites. She was helpful in giving times and dates for future sightings (if I considered seeing other species). I appreciated the information. I didn’t tell her I wasn’t a “twitcher”, but got the impression that most birders she encountered were.
I made my way to a different viewing platform to settle in. I spent the rest of the morning there. Here is one of the animals I observed the longest.
There was also a juvenile hunting along side the adult.
Here is a short 20 second video of the two in action.
There were several other species I got to see. Among those were White Ibis, Great Egret, Great Blue & Little Blue Herons and others (a few photos of those).
I’ll include this photo from earlier in the year of an adult Common Gallinule.
You may have noticed that half of my photos are poor quality. I am using three cameras (two are questionable mechanically) and the third is not perfectly adaptable to my needs.
I was out at Hurricane Landing (Sardis Lake, Mississippi) yesterday afternoon. I heard a report of Willet, Piping Plover and Sanderlings were there Sunday Sept. 17th. I made the trip to confirm (if I got lucky). I found the Willet but not the other birds.
But, the Willets (two of them) were hunting with these odd characters. I can’t seem to id them. I keep coming back to Curlew Sandpiper (a most unlikely situation). Please let me know your thoughts.
Update: suggested by Gene Knight, as Lesser Yellowleg.