April 5-6 – Several FOY & Nemesis Overcome

The theme for this weekend was water, water everywhere.  The rain on Thursday had flooded all the fields and even some roads.

Typical seen this weekend - water in the fields and on the roads - SE of Franklin. 04/05/14
Typical seen this weekend – water in the fields and on the roads – SE of Franklin. 04/05/14

But I still headed out on my bike Saturday heading east of town to look for shorebirds in the flooded fields.  The Red-tailed Hawk was on her nest but I still couldn’t get a good picture. Someone needs to tell me how to take a picture of an object when there are branches in the way.

RTHA on Nest 040514

The first couple of hours consisted of seeing most of the expected species including FOY Chipping Sparrow and Barn Swallows. I finally arrived at the flooded field that had shorebirds last year but none were present today.  Until I started to leave. The noise I made must have disturbed 4 Wilson’s Snipe and they flushed 40-50 feet. Sorry no photos but everything moved quick. The 6 mile ride home into the wind was uneventful except that I am out of shape and about threw-up.

Saturday afternoon I checked the local Great Blue Heron rookery.

Great Blue Heron Rookery. I count 12 nests and 11 Herons.  04/05/14
Great Blue Heron Rookery. I count 12 nests and 11 herons. 04/05/14

GBHE 040514

GBHE on Nest 040514

Now for the unusual part.  I watched a Red-tailed Hawk come in a couple of times and land on the top of a tree – like a Rough-legged Hawk. It then dove down in one of the nests fighting with one of the Herons.  Anyone know why?

Red-tailed Hawk that was harassing Great Blue-Heron on their Nests.  Was the hawk using the nest previously and want them out? Was it after food?  I'm not sure.  04/05/14
Red-tailed Hawk that was harassing Great Blue-Heron on their nests. Was the hawk using the nest previously and wanted them out? Was it after food? I’m not sure. 04/05/14

Mike called and wanted to go out Sunday morning.  We decided Laura Hare Preserve would be the best spot to find migrant Hermit Thrush and the nemesis Winter Wren.

Before sunrise and before the birds would be back-lit I stopped by another wet area on the way. While there a flock of 8 Pectoral Sandpipers flew in and I located a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs.

Sunrise Sunday Morning - SW of Franklin.  If you look close enough you can see 5 Blue-winged Teal and a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs. 04/06/14
Sunrise Sunday Morning – SW of Franklin. I liked the picture even though it really doesn’t show birds.  But if you look close enough you can see 5 Blue-winged Teal on the water and a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs on the waters’s edge. 04/06/14

Immediately arriving at Laura Hare Preserve two Pileated Woodpeckers flew in.  If I would of had the camera out I would have got a great picture instead of the following sad picture.

Pileated Woodpecker fat sunrise.  I just liked the way the sun caught the red.  Laura Hare Preserve. 04/06/14
Pileated Woodpecker at sunrise. I just liked the way the sun caught the red. Laura Hare Preserve. 04/06/14

I don’t know how many times I have looked for Winter Wren since I moved to Johnson County last year.  At least a dozen, probably more.  I never found what I thought would be the right habitat until the Laura Hare Preserve opened up last November.  And with the winter we had I never headed there figuring everything would be frozen.  So with the next couple of weeks being the height of spring migration for Winter Wren, my hopes were high.

Mike and I hadn’t walked 100 yards when we heard the song (warble?) of a Winter Wren.  With a little work Mike was able to locate it in the brush and my current Johnson County nemesis bird had been overcome. That easy, but definitely not anti-climatic. It kept hopping around for a bit but we got a couple of quick looks. But I still want better looks in the future.

We then preceded to the ravine area in hopes of more wrens and maybe a Hermit Thrush.  No luck but we heard and then saw a Louisiana Waterthrush, totaling 3 on the day.  The preserve still looks good for Hooded and Worm-eating Warblers this spring and summer.

We then checked a spot at Atterbury FWA without much activity except for a Barred Owl calling at 11AM.  I did get a picture of a Field Sparrow and a Brown Thrasher at a top of a tree.

FISP Atterbury 040614

BRTH Atterbury 040514A

Another good weekend of birding (there all good if I’m birding) with another Johnson county life bird and 7 FOY’s seen.

So what’s my next Johnson County nemesis?

 

 

 

 

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