Date: 11/30/19 6:43 pm
From: Brodie Cass Talbott <brodiecasstalbott...>
Subject: [obol] Ankeny today - SWSP, WTSP, NSHR
Hello OBOLers,

Portland Audubon just wrapped up a daylong trip to Ankeny NWR, where 9
hearty souls braved incredibly cold weather, starting at 22 and sunny, and
ending at 36 and cloudy. We were happy to not be among the hordes watching
figurative Ducks and Beavers in an outdoor arena.

While the specatcle of watching geese coming in to land on sheets of ice
proved amusing at Eagle Marsh, the lack of water meant low overall numbers
there, but AMERICAN PIPIT and SAVANNAH SPARROW entertained nearby.

Pintail Marsh had the usual waterfowl, and a good assortment of shorebirds,
YELLOWLEGS. Loads of KILLDEER and a single WILSON'S SNIPE rounded out a six
shorb day. A calling RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was one of five raptors, but we
were unable to find any roughies or larger falcons (a Prairie Flacon was
reported from Pintail yesterday, but I haven't seen if it was confirmed).

Just before we left Pintail, a single NORTHERN SHRIKE perched on a tree in
the parking lot, not long after a BLACK PHOEBE made its way through.

At the Rail Trail we had the usual assortment of mixed winter flock
passerines, but SWAMP SPARROW and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW were nice, if
uncooperative, additions. Both were seen and heard just past the
observation blind.

To end the trip to Ankeny, we were treated to some avian slapstick: a Bald
Eagle coming in to perch next to its presumed mate on a bare tree, only to
have the branch break completely off nuder their combined weight, upon
which both birds tumbled down, barely able to right themselves before
hitting the ground, and then fly up to find a sturdier branch to rest on.
It underscored one of my favorite things about birding: seeing even
familiar birds do something you've never seen before, and may never see

Good birding,

Brodie Cass Talbott

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