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