June 16, 2009

Black-necked Stilt & More

This past Sunday my dad and I went on a trip up to the Iowa Great Lakes (north central) region to go fishing. It just so happened that just a short distance from where we were going to fish a Black-necked Stilt (a fairly rare but regular bird in Iowa) was seen just the night before at an area slough. When we pulled up to the area we easily found the bird wading out in the shallow water of the slough looking for food. It's legs were very long and really made him stand out. I was having trouble with getting photos of this, my 309th life bird because of the clouds and distance but then the skies opened up and I was finally able to get a decent but distant picture.
As we were watching him my attention turned to a white colored tern that was flying over with a group of Black Terns. It had completely plain gray upper wings and a hint of black on the underside of the primaries, he was smaller, and had an orange-red bill. This turned out to be the first Common Tern that I had seen in Iowa.

After the stop at the slough we went on and spent some time fishing. We caught bullhead and I even snagged a carp but the line got when we tried pulling it up. It was only a couple feet from us when the line gave out. That was the "fish that got away story" of the trip.

When the fishing was done with my dad and I went out and did some more birding before we had to head home. On Grover's Lake on the Iowa/Minnesota border I was pleased to find two breeding plumage Red-necked Grebes along with five Redheads. At Storm Lake, about an hour south of there we came across a group of thee Caspian Terns. I chased them around trying to get photos but they didn't cooperate.

The day ended up being nice and sunny which was nice since the weather has been bad lately. The fish were biting (for a while at least) and the birds were nice too.

1 comment:

J'ellen said...

Great photos, Tucker! We have the same stilt here in the Black Hills but I haven't seen it yet...our warblers are similar...I enjoy your blog; nice!