Along our way to Wheeler County we saw a Coopers Hawk. After the end of this message is Robin's account of possible Coopers Hawk nesting evidence in Hall County at Wood River. In Wheeler County at Pibel Lake we saw a Forster's Tern and Robin heard a few Yellow Warblers. At the Bartlett Sewage Lagoon we saw about twenty Wilson's Phalaropes. At the north end of where highways 281 and 70 come together we heard two Willets. Along the stretch of road from there and three miles east on highway 70 we saw at least 150 dowitchers. We managed to identify three of them by sight and one more by its keek call as Long-billed Dowitchers. We are assuming most if not all of the rest of the dowitchers were Long-billed Dowitchers as well. Most of the dowitchers were concentrated near the intersection of the two highways. In the three mile stretch of highway 70 east of there we saw many Lesser Yellowlegs, saw two Clay-colored Sparrows and Robin heard a few more. FOY (first of year) for us we saw and heard about ten Yellow-headed Blackbirds, saw five Cattle Egrets, saw and heard two or three Upland Sandpipers, saw two Lincoln's Sparrows, saw our FOY Western Kingbird and we saw and heard about six Greater Yellowlegs. Along this stretch as well Robin saw an Empidonax flycatcher. At three miles east of the northern intersection of the two highways E Road goes north. Along the first couple miles up Road E we heard two Soras about a mile and a half apart and we got excellent looks at three Lark Sparrows, including a head filled scope view of one. Back at the northern conjunction of the two highways, highway 281 curves and heads northwest. We walked north up the minimum maintenance road beginning at the northern conjunction of the two highways. Within a quarter of a mile up this road we had seen three female and three male Hudsonian Godwits and two Solitary Sandpipers. All close views, but not as close as the Lark Sparrows.
Both Robin and I added six birds to our Wheeler County lists. We remain tied at 148. We both added Sora, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Hudsonian Godwit, Long-billed Dowitcher and Clay-colored Sparrow to our Wheeler County lists. We would like to send a special thanks to Jan Johnson for her timely posting of results of her and Richard's shorebird Thursday. We read her message Friday and changed our plans for Saturday. If we would have gone where we had planned to go we would have picked up zero, one or at the most two county birds. Certainly not six.
May your birds be lifers and your troubles temporary.
good birding and goodbye,
Lanny Randolph 2028 34th Rd. Minden Nebraska south central Nebraska north central Kearney County snowbunting(at)rcom-ne.com 308-216-0427
On Saturday, May 06, Lanny and I were driving through Wood River in Hall County on our way to other birding destinations. We just happened to see a Cooper's Hawk fly by with sticks in its talons. We turned around, drove back and parked with a view of the tree it landed in. We watched the hawk for a while in the top of the large tree then we saw another bird about the same size moving around nearby but behind leaves and branches so no clear view. I suspect that they are building a nest or maybe adding to their nest.