On Saturday birding friend Paul came and picked me up and we went out birding around the county like I did on Thursday but we visited some different areas.
The first place we did some birding was on a small dirt road about 3 miles from my house up in the Loess Hills. The bushes along the road had several foy Bell's Vireos as well as Least and Willow Flycatcher. A couple Sedge Wrens and Grasshopper Sparrows were calling from the grasslands that surrounded the area. Bank Swallows were nesting in a cliff that was created when the cut through a hill to put in a road. Paul got a photo of a swallow with my camera for me since they were not on my side.
The sun was shining and the birds were singing all over the place. Bobolinks were found a mile or two down the road and were singing their strange jumbled song. As we moved on we found a few more grassland birds including an Eastern Meadowlark an more Bell's Vireo putting us at 12 for the day.
We headed down to the Missouri River Valley to a place called Table Marsh WMA. We were surprised to find so much water and so many birds there. We knew it was there but didn't think that it was as large as it was. Over fifty American White Pelicans were there resting on a small island. Surrounding them there were tons of shorebirds including American Avocet, Dunlin, and Stilt Sandpiper. Black Terns and a Forster's Tern were cruising the area looking for food. A number of Great Egrets were fairly close to the road. They were a bit shy and flew as soon as we got close enough to get a photo. I did however manage to photograph one.
Waterfowl were also there including a Green-winged Teal (strange to see them this time of year), two Hooded Mergansers, a Gadwall pair, and Blue-winged Teal, Mallard, and Canada Geese. We found a large mud flat with even more shorebirds on it. We found a few Semipalmated Plovers there as well as the other shorebirds previously mentioned and some more common ones. Before we left we checked the large cattail stands for birds and found a Sora, a few Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and a good supply of Marsh Wrens. After that it was time to head home after a nice five hours of birding. Table Marsh really surprised us and appears to have a lot of potential and we will be heading back to do some more birdwatching for sure! One thing I forgot to mention that there is a dike that runs along the west side of the marsh making it easy to observe the birds from above, revealing more birds than we could see from eye level.
That concludes my Memorial Weekend Birding.