Date: 3/27/21 10:45 am From: Stuart Sparkman <jacamar29...> Subject: [ia-bird] Fish Crow continues, etc
Karen, Harney, and I started the morning with a walk through Terra Park in Johnston (Polk Co.). Betrayed by their song, we found four beautiful HARRIS'S SPARROWS in the trees behind the help-yourself mulch pile near the entrance. Further along, our FOY SWAMP SPARROWS made an appearance, as well as our first *female *RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS of the year.
Afterwards, Harney and I continued with a survey of Saylorville Reservoir sites. At Polk City Wildlife Area and the north end of Big Creek Lake were a few duck flocks including LESSER SCAUP, RING-NECKED DUCK, GADWALL, MALLARD, AMERICAN WIGEON, BUFFLEHEAD, BLUE-WINGED and GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and the merganser triple crown. The latter site produced my FOY COMMON LOON in beautiful breeding plumage just off the fishing jetty.
Heading back south, I stopped at Sandpiper Rec Area, just north of the marina. I had ducks on my mind, none of which were visible from there. As I was heading out, I stopped my car near a brushy area that often has sparrows. Over the car engine I heard the FISH CROW (which I had completely forgotten had been reported here), so I backtracked and approached the bird, who was in the trees between the parking lot and the lake, ultimately getting decent looks and an excellent recital from this avian performer. Our last stop was Oak Grove beach, from where we saw about 30 TREE SWALLOWS swarming over the water near the marina entrance. I can report that a sizable naval unit of AMERICAN COOTS has arrived at the reservoir, another FOY for me. In all, a great early spring morning out for us with some nice bird sightings.