Date: 4/17/17 7:33 pm From: Brandon Caswell <brandon.caswell83...> Subject: [ia-bird] Cone and continuing Coralville Res shorebirds
James Huntington and I took a quick trip down to Cone Marsh this afternoon to find the Great-tailed Grackle and whatever else. We struck out on the grackle again. We were there in the afternoon and the birding wasn't too spectacular (54 species), although our highlight was an early CLAY-COLORED SPARROW. I saw another report on eBird just north of Burlington this morning for this species that had great photos.
Water levels are high at Cone right now. The waterfowl have really dropped off lately, with single to very few diving duck species. There was a flock of around 20 Bonaparte's Gulls rafting and flying off and on north of the dike. American White Pelicans were either floating or flying at multiples levels of stratification throughout the air column above the marsh.
At Sandy Beach in Johnson County Jim Forde's seven AMERICAN AVOCETS were WAY distant and NW of Scales Point. If they held that current position they would have good light on them from the point in the AM as Jim mentioned. The single HUDSONIAN GODWIT was just east of a grounded flock of pelicans along Sandy Beach (east of the main beach). The bird slept and preened most of the time we were there. With a good scope this bird would be visible from Twin View Heights in the AM. You could probably still get it closer at Sandy Beach too in less desirable lighting. That is, if it stays in the general area where we saw it last. Pelicans were highly stratified in the air column over Sandy Beach as well, some SUPER high up.
I checked on some Cattle Egrets that were reported on Oak Ave NE just west of Solon, but was not able to find anything.