Date: 9/6/17 5:43 pm
From: Nickel, James B <James.Nickel...>
Subject: Morton County
I am working in Amarillo, TX now. So on the way to and from I stopped in Morton County.
On the way to, a week ago, it was very slow birding. I saw around 20 black crowned night herons. Half adult and have juvenile. Mostly they were around the stagnant pond, below the lagoons.
I talked to Tom Gillespie, city employee, and birder (at least he has a bird book in his truck). He said he mows the area around the shelter belt, so people can enjoy the area. He is a good man. He told me he had seen ibis and a long billed curlew at the lagoons recently. I saw no birds in the shelter belt, except for a barn owl.
What a difference a week makes for birds. On the return trip, today, the shelter belt had lots of birds. I walked it three times and each time there were different birds. I saw 20+ wilsons warblers, a American redstart, Townsend's warbler ( I think, but if someone thinks black throated green is more likely, say something since my look was very brief), 5 ruby crowned kinglets, blue gray gnatcatcher, several thrushes ( Swainson's likely, but again brief looks on some) many flycatchers ( where is an experienced flycatcher person when you need them?) lots of vireos including 3-4 blue headed, warbling. Is red eyed possible?, I had a good look at a hummer ( perched in full light) and I believe it was a black throated female, western wood peewee, I saw many empidonax flycatchers 1 possible dusky, 3 red breasted nuthatches, barn owl. The lagoons: avocet, lots of blue wing ducks, lots of Shovelers, and 2 eared grebes. Work station: Say's Phoebe. Middle springs= mystery bird, I saw a flycatcher phoebe/kingbird size very briefly, with buff/russet wing bars, looked kind of like eastern kingbird or phoebe, but the wing bars were odd. Also a loggerhead shrike. I saw lots more birds, but this is all I can remember for now.
I would like to hear what other people think since my Morton County experience is not as much as some other people have. What a day! These are the days I'm glad to be a birder. Thanks Jim Nickel

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