Date: 10/4/17 8:33 pm From: Brandon Caswell <brandon.caswell83...> Subject: [ia-bird] Johnson County birds 10-4-17
The radar was LIT UP last night in Minnesota and Iowa as birds followed a frontal boundary south over the night hours (see attached PM "lift off" and AM "settling down" photos). A couple experienced birding friends in Central Iowa and Minnesota, who know flight calls, said there were nonstop sparrow calls overhead ~10pm.
This morning Dean Hester and I visited Saddlebrook Wetland Trail, Sycamore Bottoms, and Terry Trueblood RA. PALM WARBLERS were in high numbers, with a single bush having five. We were hoping to find some marsh sparrows, but dipped on that main target. Dean did spot a PEREGRINE FALCON, which made a nice loop through Sycamore Bottoms. We also had SEDGE and MARSH WRENS at Sycamore. The highlight was an adult CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at Saddlebrook, which posed ever so nicely for photos. ORANGE-CROWNED and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were in abundance as well.
On my way home from school I took Supertramp's advise, going way out to the farthest western outskirts of Hawkeye WMA. In the prairie north of Graben Rd (near end of road going north off the E-W stretch of Graben) I was able to find a single NELSON'S SPARROW after tromping around for some time. I have a suspicion there were other notable sparrows around that area, but most were impossible to relocate after they flushed. I also had both kinglets on the road going north to the prairie. About 1/5 of a mile north of the intersection of Cemetery and Swan Lake Roads (see attached photo with gray pin for precise location) I had both a NELSON'S and a LECONTE'S SPARROW. I finished the day with over a dozen species of sparrows and in the mid-60's for number of species (without targeting any major water AND putting in my time at school).
I've got tons of sparrow pictures to attach to my eBird lists so eventually those lists will be chalked full of stuff if anyone is interested. #GROUNDtruthTHEradar!