Date: 6/5/18 8:56 am From: Jeff Harding <jeffharding...> Subject: [obol] Marion County Yesterday: Tricolored Blackbird at Ankeny; Common Loon at Detroit lake
There was a Tricolored Blackbird at Ankeny NWR yesterday afternoon at about 4:00 pm. I had walked around Pintail Marsh and was returning to the parking lot from the west when I noticed a blackbird with milky white epaulets (median coverts) with some Brewer's Blackbirds in one of the thin willows on the marsh side of the dike. Looking for other field marks, I did not see red in the upper part of the epaulets (lesser coverts). Of course the red in the lesser coverts of a Tri-colored Blackbird is darker than that of a Red-winged Blackbird, and may not be noticeable. The bill appeared longer and thinner than a Red-winged Blackbird's bill would be, but there was no direct comparison. The bird shortly flew to the dead trees in the center of the pond, where it posed for a moment for a distant photo, but flew before I could get a closer position in the car park. I did not see where it went, and did not relocate it. The photo is in this checklist:
Earlier in the day, Jim Kopetski and I had birded the Detroit Lake Area, and found a Common Loon in breeding plumage in the reservoir south of Detroit Flats. (photo here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46301837 ) . We had explored the high ridge north of the lake, up French Creek Road. Sooty Grouse were hooting and Mountain Quail were calling from several locations, but we had trouble finding any flycatchers. We did finally hear some Hammond's Flycatchers, but Olive-sided Flycatchers, and other empidonax flycatchers were either quiet or not present. It was a rather cold and windy morning, so they were likely just quiet. Hermit Warblers were singing at most locations.