Date: 9/29/17 6:19 pm From: Nickel, James B <James.Nickel...> Subject: Morton County Migrants
Morton County can be hot or cold birding. Two weeks ago it was warm and quiet. The shelter belt was silent. Middle Spring was dead with no migrants. I felt lucky to find Rock Wrens at Point of Rocks.
What a difference of a couple of weeks and a cold front make. Morton County is wet. Water standing everywhere. The Cimarron river is flowing well. I felt nervous even with 4 wheel drive and some roads were off limits. The pond below the lagoons was full.
The shelter belt and lagoons had lots of birds: Mallard, lots of Ruddy Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, 2 Eared Grebes, Coopers Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Kestrel, Great Horned Owl, Coot, Common Nighthawk (very rufous color), sapsucker, strong numbers of flickers, Wood-Pewee, 8-10 Red-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, 20-25 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Robin, Brown Thrasher, Starling, Blue Headed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, 15-20 Orange-crowned Warblers, 8-10 Wilson's Warblers, Lincoln's sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, White-winged dove, loads of Eurasians, high numbers of Mourning Doves.
Middle Spring: Very high numbers of woodpeckers, probably 40-50. Mostly Flickers, but also Hairy and several Sapsuckers, Loggerhead Shrike, Say's Phoebe, more Orange-crowned Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Kestrel, American Redstart (female), 3 Spotted Towhee, Gray Catbird, Green-tailed Towhee (Kansas lifer for me), American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Western Meadowlark.
I know I saw more birds then this, but this is all I can remember. I need to start carrying a checklist. Now I need to head to Texas for work. Hmm. Maybe I can stop at the Wichita Mountains on the way back! Jim