This morning Linda Rudolph and I found a frustratingly active flock of roughly 80 Lapland and Smith's Longspurs along T Ave. South ofHwy. G28. They were essentially West of the road and across fromthe pig confinement facility.
The birds altered between swirling flocks and feeding on the ground behind clumps of dirt or down in furrows. Typical. Linda was able to confirm 2 near breeding plumage Smith's, and both of us ID'd Laplands, but many of the birds appeared to be first-Winter phasing into breeding attire. They produced a cacophonyof mixed flight songs, difficult for usto clearly distinguish.
Some other sightings at Cone Marsh included a flock of 24 Ross's Geese, flocks of 11 and 5 Sandhill Cranes, 2 each of Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpipers, Greater Scaup viewed from the dike, and FOY Eastern Phoebe, in my mind a true harbinger of Spring.
At T Ave./220th St., the 2 Cedars on the NE corner have been cut down. We have reason to believe that the annually seen pair of Loggerhead Shrikes have nested in those trees.Sad.
Good birding.Bill Scheible Cedar Rapids