Date: 3/19/17 8:25 pm From: Eric Hough <000001be0e05c15a-dmarc-request...> Subject: Overland Park Arboretum, KCP&L Wetlands (Johnson Co.)
March 19, 2017
Today I got out in mid-afternoon to take advantage of the warm weather on the trails at the Overland Park Arboretum (Johnson County). At the feeder station there were still lots of Purple Finches (~20+). Along with the regular resident species, I also had a flyover Turkey Vulture, a singing Eastern Phoebe, 4 Brown Creepers, one calling Winter Wren, one Ruby-crowned and 8+ Golden-crowned Kinglets, two ‘Myrtle’ Yellow-rumped Warblers, one Fox Sparrow, and several Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows. One of the breeding pair of Red-shouldered Hawks appeared to be carrying off a snake. Some wildflowers are in bloom along the trail, plus in the gardens there were lots of hyacinths and daffodils. A few butterflies were out as well (I took photos of some that looked like satyrs, will have to look up ID).
In the late afternoon I made my first trip over to the KCP&L Wetlands in Gardner where the wind was very blustery. Struggling against the wind were at least six Tree Swallows (my first of season). Among the shorebird selection were two Pectoral Sandpipers, one Least Sandpiper, at least six Greater Yellowlegs, one Lesser Yellowlegs, and several each of Wilson’s Snipes and Killdeer. While there I ran into David Kirsch who said earlier he had seen some Long-billed Dowitchers mixed in with the snipes. As for waterfowl, Blue-winged Teal were abundant, with smaller numbers of Gadwalls, Mallards, American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, and Green-winged Teal. Other highlights included an Eastern Phoebe, a Fox Sparrow, a Swamp Sparrow, large flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and Common Grackles, two muskrats, and a snapping turtle periodically peeking its head out of the water like a small stump at dusk. I stayed until dusk to see if I could hear any woodcocks, but didn’t hear any among the strong wind and constant train noise.