Date: 4/6/21 7:30 am
From: Stuart Sparkman <jacamar29...>
Subject: [ia-bird] Solitary Sandpiper, Johnston
Hey I-Birders,

Harney and I walked a loop of the Beaver Creek Greenbelt Trail adjacent
to Terra Park in Johnston (Polk Co.) this morning. I was astonished to
encounter a SOLITARY SANDPIPER along Beaver Creek in the wooded portion of
the trail. I was able to observe the bird for about 10 minutes as it
foraged at the water's edge. I have never seen a SOSA at this location
before, but migration doesn't care about one's expectations! According to
the IOU website, this is the third earliest spring Iowa record for this
species, the earliest being April 4.

It was a lovely morning to be out, and though we did not see many
sparrows, we had singles of FIELD SPARROW and SWAMP SPARROW, and there were
still a couple of vocal HARRIS'S SPARROWS not far from the parking lot. A
FOY for the year was a chatty RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET. On the home front, a
CAROLINA WREN is singing merrily behind the house, and a couple of EASTERN
PHOEBES seem to be eyeing the back of our garage, a place phoebes have
nested before. Fingers are crossed.

For fans of non-avian critters, I thought I'd mention that Karen and I
were out at Rock Creek State Park (Jasper Co.) on Sunday and while scoping
some COMMON LOONS I spotted a River Otter in the water. This is the second
otter I've seen in a month's time- surprising!

Good Birding,

Stuart Sparkman
NW Des Moines

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