Date: 5/13/19 5:59 pm From: Jim Forde <jimforde...> Subject: [ia-bird] Prairie Warblers at Croton Unit in Lee Co.
This morning I did a search of the southeast section of the Croton Unit at the end of 130th Ave. for PRAIRIE WARBLERS and found at least three.
They were far enough apart (and in one case, had a different song) that I could rule out possible repeats. In the south most habitat I had singing
on opposite sides but not simultaneously so I wasn't sure how many. If there were two, each had its own forest edge which seems to be what they
favor but if they require large territories then two wouldn't seem as likely.
Directions to the spots is difficult and I even had trouble finding the opening I visited last spring. Luckily, ticks were amazingly few today, maybe
because of the heavy dew and recent wetness. From the 130th Ave. dead end I walked straight south, crossing the creek then taking the east trail uphill
until I came to the large round open area. The first Prairie Warbler was on the east edge of this opening and moved around its perimeter, singing.
The other two warblers were straight south of this opening in a long rectangular unit section which is centered by a long grassy area with many cedars
bordered by trees. One of The warblers was not far into this area (almost same spot as last spring's Prairie Warbler) and the other all the way to the south end and I assume near the south most boundary. The key to finding this field is following tire ruts in the grass until you come to the fence
corner which has the huge pasture on the other side. If you miss this corner you could be following a trail into the west side of the unit. Actually,
I think this fence corner is almost inline with the uphill trail entrance if one continued south instead of exploring the large open area as I did.
The best thing to do is check a map of this unit first.
Other birds of note were 12 WHITE-EYED VIREO and maybe 5 YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS (not many for this unit!). A big thrill for me was my first Prairie