Date: 3/12/17 10:08 am From: Scott Seltman <sselt...> Subject: Quivira 10 March
I did a quick drive through of Quivira NWR from south to north on Friday evening, 10 March. There were about 200 Sandhill Cranes and 19 Tundra Swans on the western leg of the Wildlife Drive. An additional 3 Tundra Swans were on the small pond by the refuge bunkhouse AKA Migrant Mile. There were tons of diving ducks to look at everywhere, but I saw no rarities. I also missed seeing any shorebirds aside from Killdeer, though I'm sure there must be some around somewhere. A Short-eared Owl was perched just west of the exit of the Wildlife Drive at sundown.
More Sandhill Cranes were in the air west of Quivira, so many may be roosting in fields off the refuge.
I've been working in Harper County a few days a month and adding lots of species to my personal county list in the process. Notables include a Greater Roadrunner on 9 March and a Peregrine Falcon on 8 March. The Peregrine was just a flyby, I imagine, and was not far off the highway NE of the town of Harper. It is potentially a 1st county record for Harper.
I saw a rather late Rough-legged Hawk in SE Kingman County on 8 March. Where one often sees pale cream-colored feathering on the neck and head of a RLHA, this bird was essentially pure white. I'd never seen anything quite like it in a RLHA, but am confident of the ID as every other fieldmark was Rough-legged all the way.
This last week there was a definite turnover of birds out in the countryside. Sparrow numbers were way up, presumable bolstered by wintering birds from the south. The big flocks of wintering meadowlarks and Horned Larks were gone. Am. Tree Sparrows had also hit the highway, though I did manage to see a handful in with random flocks of Harris's and White-crowned. I had managed to miss Eastern Phoebes until this week, but beginning Tuesday they were scattered throughout in Harper, Kingman and Reno.