Date: 3/27/21 10:45 am
From: Stuart Sparkman <jacamar29...>
Subject: [ia-bird] Fish Crow continues, etc
Hey I-Birders,

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,
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.

Good Birding,

Stuart Sparkman
NW Des Moines

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