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: ) . 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.

Good birding,


Join us on Facebook!