Date: 10/9/17 6:38 am From: dan.cerveny <dan.cerveny...> Subject: [ia-bird] Cedar Rapids, new lifer - Belted Kingfisher
I saw the weather radars lit up behind the cold front last night, so I walked down to the open field/creek next to my house again first thing this morning. I saw couple pairs of mallards, more sparrows (swamp, song, white-throated(first-of season)), a couple warblers, and more phoebes). However, I was freezing and just about to go home when I saw the big prize. I heard a loud cackling call, then turned and saw a large bird, in flight, that kinda looked like a blue jay, but wasn't a blue jay. It was larger, the blue was darker, and had a very distinct light brown pattern on its side with light underparts. It swept down into the creek a couple times, then flew up and away downstream... all the while continuing its distinctive cackling. I had no idea what it was. It certainly wasn't any of the birds I've looked over in my bird book or online, with the expectation I might see sometime. When I got home and checked my book, the Belted Kingfisher immediately stood out. That was it. Awesome.