April 29, 2009

Birding in the Rain

Today my mom and I went out birding for a couple hours after a dentist appointment. It was rainy but warm and there were a few birds out and about. Some of the first birds we saw were around 40 Franklin's Gulls that flew over the road.

More gulls were seen shortly after that a cattle farm but they were not Franklin's but Ring-billed instead. We had five of them as well as Snow Geese and Double-crested Cormorants. After that we decided to check for the Snowy Plover at another farm pond but we had no luck finding it or any other shorebird there.
The best birding of the short trip was at Owego Wetlands. I dusted off my waders that have been sitting unused for just under a year now at my house and took off into the wetlands to search for Soras, Virginia Rails, American Bitterns, etc. One of the first "highlight" birds was a foy Marsh Wren that popped out of the cattails to come check me out. After that I saw three more of them as I worked my way through the tangles of weeds. I began to doubt that I was going to see any of my target birds but I was wrong. About halfway through my journey I flushed a foy Sora. On the way back to the car I flushed up two more Soras (heard another) and a foy American Bittern.

On the way back home I stopped by the Luton WMA North and came across Paul. After we talked for a minute he started to head off and as he did a Black-crowned Night-Heron flew into the area and sat at the side of the pond we were overlooking. It was the best look I had ever had of a night-heron and it was another foy. Of course I called Paul and he turned around and saw it as well.

Also seen on the way back was a Canada Goose family with six young ones. The "runt" (the bird with the red circle around it) in the group kept falling behind the rest. His future doesn't seem very bright. I had a nice day of birding and got to go wading which I always enjoy doing. I had four year birds on the trip as well as a foy Swainson's Thrush in my yard the same morning which put my year list up to 159. Almost forgot to add that I saw a Red-headed Woodpecker, the first one I have seen in Iowa this year.

1 comment:

Carol said...

I love being outside in the rain. Everything looks and smells so good. Hard to keep the camera dry, though.