Date: 4/24/18 5:14 pm
From: Nickel, James B <James.Nickel...>
Subject: Morton County
I got up early this morning with the idea I would be able to bird more before having to be in Amarillo. I started at the cemetery, close to Richland. It is a well maintained small cemetery, overlooking the North Fork of the Cimarron River (dry). I need to find out who owns the land by the North Fork, and get permission to bird, it looks good. The cemetery had a good mix of birds including a few warblers, Magpies, Towhee, Ruby Crowned, Gnatcatcher. The best bird was a Northern Parula, not a big deal in the east but hard to find in Morton.
Then I went to the public portion of the North Fork. But a strong north wind hit and the gusts were 30+. My luck was kind of thin there with not much to report.
I decided with the wind to go look at the lagoons. Still lots of ducks, about 8-10 species. The best birds were: 20 Black Crowned Night Herons, 2 Eared Grebes, 100+ Phalaropes, 5 Avocets, 1 Black Necked Stilt, Bonaparte and Ring Billed gulls, and a few common shore birds.
I thought with the wind and all, my luck had crashed. Especially when a man started up a big limb mulcher right next to the shelterbelt. It was really loud. I was about ready to leave, but thought oh why not, what is there to lose. So, I started birding the shelterbelt. I saw a Broad-Winged Hawk, and then a Cooper's Hawk. There were lots of warblers and other migrants. I saw my FOS Western Kingbird. Then, the best bird of the day: a female Vermilion Flycatcher. Yes! Kansas lifer. In an odd twist to the day, I stopped at a park in Amarillo. A person can never bird enough. And guess what? I saw a Male Vermilion Flycatcher. Palo Duro Canyon, a short distance from Amarillo, lists the bird as a vagrant! I guess my lucks not so bad after all.
Best wishes to all. Jim Nickel Peabody, KS

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