November 26, 2008

Barrow's Goldeneye (pre-blog bird)

Just a week ago before I started this blog I found a great bird here in western Iowa. The bird was a Barrow's Goldeneye! This beautiful duck is an accidental bird here in Iowa and isn't seen often. This is the first time I have found an accidental bird-ever and this is life bird 293. This is just one more bird on my road to 300 life birds. If I counted right twelve people came to see it with two birders coming from across the state. The bird was at a stinking (literally!) cattle farm pond with lots of other ducks.

(the picture is bad but it is id-able)

The Barrow's Goldeneye left with a bang after being there for three days. Here is what the birder who last saw it recalled:

I saw the Barrow's yesterday, the 18th at 11.30 AM. However, what appeared to be 2 employees of the dairy farm drove out to the west end of the pond and fired a rifle over the water! This caused all the ducks to fly. They circled and lit when again the guys fired another round or two. The birds flushed again. After a minute or so the birds lit on the pond. This time the employees drove to the northeast end of the pond a fired a couple more rounds. This time the birds flew off and did not return!

Yes you heard it right, two guys went off and scared off the bird just for the fun of it. The next day we found out who did it. One birder contacted the cattle farm owner and got the details. The people who shot at the birds were not employees there they were construction workers who were doing something at the farm.

I thought that would be the last of him but he was one again seen several days later by a group of birders at a different location eight miles away. The Barrow's flew off and was not seen again.

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