Karen and I just made a run up to CG 4 at Jester Park on Saylorville Reservoir to check out that mysterious dark duck again and see what shorebirds we could find. The duck in question was still present, looking like it might have one primary feather askew. A check with eBird indicates that opinions on this specimen tilt towards MOTTLED DUCK rather than American Black Duck, which would not be expected during the summer. Light conditions were good for viewing today, but the distance is still the real enemy on these tough birds.
Shorebirds were abundant, the flock primarily consisting almost entirely of SEMIPALMATED, LEAST, and PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, KILLDEER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. We were able to pick out two juvenile SANDERLINGS from the big flock. A group of over 30 GREAT EGRETS were pretty far out, and the five BLACK-NECKED STILTS viewed here earlier this week were foraging in their midst. A hundred meters or so away sat a PEREGRINE FALCON perched on a piece of driftwood on the sandbar.
At home, I heard the PILEATED WOODPECKER pair calling to each other in the woods behind our house several times this morning, though they did not put in an appearance. Juvenile RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS and TUFTED TITMICE are frequenting our suet and seed feeder daily.