‘Spring’ Birds–I refuse to call this spring weather!

We went to Pleasant Creek Rec Area (near Palo, Iowa) on Sunday & got in some very good birding both by driving around the lake/stopping every-so-often & hiking around the lake (the girls & me) while Brian & Merritt fished. Here’s the ‘official’ list:

*Common Loon–no lie, isn’t that awesome!!! Floating & diving out in the middle of the lake, a stop-over on its migratory path north.

*American Coot–the entire place is overrun with coots right now, coot poop EVERYWHERE. Coralee & I nicknamed them ‘Iowa Kiwis,’ they totally look like those ugly Australian birds out of the water. Hope they don’t stick around.

*Bufflehead (duck)–a breeding pair; migratory.

*Canada Geese–when don’t you see these?

*Lesser Scaup–migratory.

*We couldn’t make a postivie ID, but it was some sort of bird of prey soaring over the lake with a thick hooked beak (it wasn’t a hawk), similar in size and shape to some species of Kite, but it also looked like a seagull except it was bigger and it had that large hooked beak.

Today on the drive to & from Shellsburg (on Tuesdays I take the kids to school (no bus) due to Coralee having to lug around her trumpet for lessons), we saw quite a few birds, too, out our windows. I’ve forgotten what they all were but here are the species I remember:

*Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker

*Turkey Vulture (sitting on a branch near the Cedar River between Urbana & Shellsburg, very near the road)

*Mourning Dove (1)

*Canada Geese (2)

I posted a map of the Common Loon’s migratory path on my Facebook page yesterday and Erin Thompson commented about Grandma Darling’s love of birds and how neat it is that I share her affinity for birds & birding….then Robin (Voeltz) Engel commented about Grandma Voeltz’s ability to sit outside and identify birds by their calls. I do NOT share her talent, I wish I did….it got me wondering if the fact that Idella & Iona can play piano by ear is one-and-the-same/goes-hand-in-hand with Grandma’s ability to identify birds by their distinct calls/songs? Does innate musical ability have a genetic relationship to the ability to keenly identify birds by their calls/songs? It’s a neat set of facts to ponder…

What birds have you seen lately?


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