Date: 7/9/22 4:43 pm From: Doug & Nina Harr <dnharr...> Subject: [ia-bird] Good birds at various central Iowa sites!
Since we're moving into mid-summer and a lot of birds are starting to quiet down, I've reduced the number of times I go out birding. But with today's better temps and lower humidity, I took off from Ogden early, headed down to Neal Smith NWR, then returned through other sites. It turned out pretty well!
I hit Brenton Slough first, having at least 9 *Great-blue Herons* fishing in the roadside marshes, plus a *Green Heron* perched atop a tall dead tree. Stopping nests at Saylorville's Sandpiper Rec. Area, the *Blue Grosbeak *continued singing there.
At Neal Smith NWR I finally found a couple of *Henslow's Sparrows* (FOY) in the open old prairie. Then, at the refuge's savanna site I had the annual resident *Yellow-breasted Chat*. Next, I hiked the 2 mi. Tallgrass Trail and found 5 *Bell's Vireos* along that trail.
After the refuge I went to Runnels, headed down on Hwy. 316 and a *Northern Mockingbird* flew across the highway about 3/4 mile before crossing the DSM River. Then I stopped at the overlook along Hwy 319 on the south side of the upper reservoir and had a *White-eyed Vireo* (FOY) singing in nearby shrubs.
I stopped in Ankeny on the way home and saw one *Western Kingbird *right by Karl's Chevrolet, where they usually appear annually. Then by Culver's about 2 blocks north (where Dianae Dentlinger reported seeing WEKIs yesterday), there was another one perched atop some dead branches on a tree.
It ended up being a good birding day with 62 species on my day's list--although that's the smallest number I've had in over 2 months. Summer is obviously here, but I hope everyone has great birding!