Date: 6/3/20 1:19 pm
From: Stuart Sparkman <jacamar29...>
Subject: [ia-bird] Western Kingbird in Johnston
Hey I-Birders,

Karen and Harney and I walked the trail around Beaver Creek Natural
Area (adjacent to Terra Park, Johnston, Polk Co.). We were pleasantly
surprised to encounter a WESTERN KINGBIRD at the western end of the loop
near the MidAmerica power station. We observed it hawking insects over the
open field for about a minute or two. It would hover about two feet off
the ground for three seconds, then dive into the grass and pull up again
and hover, repeating over and over. I couldn't tell whether it was
successfully picking off insects. I've never seen this species at this
specific spot, although they have nested in recent years about a quarter
mile from here among the power line towers north of the interstate.
Another happy occurance: I had been lamenting to Karen that the BELL'S
VIREOS we had semi-reliably heard vocalizing in this area for several years
have seemed absent for a couple of years when a couple of minutes later one
of them sounded off for us nearby. I hope it sticks around- the habitat
seems good for this species. Other interesting birds on the walk
included: BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, SEDGE WREN, ALDER and WILLOW FLYCATCHER,
BROWN THRASHER, YELLOW WARBLER, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO.

Good Birding,

Stuart Sparkman
NW Des Moines

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