December 25, 2008

Birding Lately

Sorry for not posting lately, I have been busy lately. A few interesting things have happened since I last posted so here are some things that have gone on. On December 14 I went with another birder to Cherokee, IA for a Christmas Bird Count. We got 30 species during the day despite the cold and wind. I was really surprised to find a Prairie Falcon in pursuit of a flock of Horned Larks. The falcon came out of nowhere and was quickly gone. It only stayed around long enough for us to pick out a few distinguishing field marks. I have not seen one of these rare visitors in Iowa before so it was nice to add such a neat bird to my state list. The second most interesting bird we saw was a Yellow-rumped Warbler. The bird was hanging around a large cedar stand near a creek. These birds are rare in Iowa during the winter so it was a bonus. Other highlights include Rough-legged Hawk, Brown Creeper, Harris's Sparrow, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, and Pine Siskin. Later in the day we went to Sioux City to help out a bit in their bird count but we didn't see much there.

A relative on mine gave me a hunting blind of his that he couldn't use because it was to small to use when bow hunting. I went outside and put it up near my bird feeders so I could get some close-up bird photos. A few species came in and I got some nice photos of A Hairy Woodpecker and Dark-eyed Junco while I was out there.

The weather here has been brutal in the past few weeks. We have gotten 21 inches of snow this month and one night it got down to -19. It is not the greatest weather to go birding in so I haven't been out much. Despite this I have been watching the feeders from time to time. Pine Siskins have been showing up lately and I am still watching for the Common Redpoll I had as a visitor in November. I don't have anymore to write about so I am done with this post.

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