Date: 9/4/17 5:18 pm From: Lee Schoenewe <lschoe...> Subject: [ia-bird] Black Rail/Ferruginous Hawk on Labor Day
Thanks to Karen Disbrow and Bob Cruden I added two great birds to my Dickinson County list today on Labor Day. Black Rail was a lifer for me and for Karen.
The story goes that I missed a voicemail yesterday on our land line from Karen about having seen what she believed were Ferruginous Hawks(2) near Cayler Prairie in Dickinson County. Nancy and I took a hike at the Freda Hafner Kettlehole this morning of our own accord and then visited the local Labor Day flea markets at the lakes. Upon arriving home mid-afternoon I did get a second message from Karen this time about not only the hawks seen again today but that Bob had flushed a Black Rail last night when taking an evening water temperature reading in a small wetland near Cayler Prairie. The data gathering is why they were out that way in the first place.
I met them late this afternoon at the wetland (which is just northwest of the T intersection of 170th St. and 170th Ave) and while Bob was sampling the water temperature and with Karen watching from dry ground I waded around the far side in the weedy water edge and kicked out a small dark rail who flew out over the water and back again. I also played the tape call several times in the wind but got no response from that. Coming back around the wetland I also kicked up a Sora which gave a good size and coloring perspective.
Then as they drove back to Lakeside Lab I got a call from Karen that they had seen the Ferruginous Hawks again and they were headed my way as I had driven north to go around the section to the east side of Cayler Prairie. As I came south to the eastside power station a large light hawk flew off a telephone pole and in my binoculars I could see it was a light juvenile Ferruginous. I got the scope on it and watched for several minutes as it hovered and hunted over the grassland.
What a beautiful bird and what a wonderful Labor Day to remember!!