Date: 3/11/18 3:24 pm From: Pete Janzen <pete.janzen...> Subject: probable N. Saw-whet Owl at Shawnee St. Fishing Lake March 9
I spent three days birding with Kevin Groeneweg, Tom Ewert and Bill Langley March 8-10. We saw a total of 103 species of birds in 10 counties over the three days. We visited many locations. On Friday night we were at Shawnee St. Fishing Lake with the Mannells. We had great looks at Short-eared and Barred Owls before dusk. While we were waiting for the American Woodcocks to begin their display flights on the east side of the lake we played an Eastern Screech-owl recording. After a few minutes we heard an unfamiliar vocalization coming from the dense woodlands at the upper end of the lake. I listened to the recordings of N. Saw-whet Owl on iBird Pro, and the "low toot" recording was seemingly a match to what we had just heard. We played a N. Saw-whet recording and a few minutes later a second vocalization was heard. This was a close match to the "agitation whine" call, although it seemed a bit more hoarse. Listening to more recordings on Xeno-canto today there is considerable variation to these alarm calls and there are several nearly identical to the second call that we heard. I don't have any experience with hearing this species in the field but I'm convinced that this is what we heard. Kevin is the only other person that heard these calls. I am reporting this to eBird and don't know how the filtration persons will treat this report.
There were substantial numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers at several locations including Melvern, Pomona, Hillsdale and Kahola Lakes, seen all three days. A Long-tailed Duck was seen at Melvern on March 8. At Lake Kahola there were two Common Loons on both sides of the Chase/Morris county line on March 10. A Vesper Sparrow near Shawnee St. Fishing Lake on March 10 tripped an eBird trigger. Otherwise there wasn't anything unexpected to report. We were at Lake Wabaunsee yesterday and there over 1000 waterfowl on the lake. We did not locate the White-winged Scoter reported there earlier in the day by Kathy Carroll. It was likely still present but we didn't pick it out of the crowd. I'd like to extend warm thanks to the Mannells for letting us stay at their home in Topeka and sharing two great meals with us. Purple Finches right outside of the window during breakfast was a plus!!