[Tweeters] Kent - Lazuli Buntings, etc.

Carol & Lynn Schulz carol.schulz50 at gmail.com
Mon May 20 09:59:08 PDT 2013

Hi Tweets:
The LAZULI BUNTINGS are arriving at Kent Ponds. We counted 3 males, and one female yesterday May 19, during the monthly bird census. To see them, take the path into the south viewing tower, from the bike trail which is the southern border of Kent Ponds, also known as Green River Natural Resources Area.
Viewing is pretty hard because the birds are still not on territory. They are flighty, and are chasing each other. They are often down in the 2-ft. tall grass, singing away, so we did a lot of birding by ear to locate them. After some frustration trying to see them, especially after walking past growling barking dogs, Barbara C and I stationed ourselves near the south viewing tower. I stood quietly in the top of the tower, and Barb stood down on the entry path to the tower. We had been hearing a male singing and I had viewed a female perched just inside the fence, counting two fence posts to the left of the path when viewed from the tower. Finally we had views of several birds including the female, an adult singing male, and another singing male which had only partial blue on its head, not on his back. Most of the viewing was of the birds down in the 2-ft. tall grass. There were a lot of distracting goldfinches in there too.
We were viewing at about 8:30am but the birds remained active through the morning. Barb and I walked west on the bike path and viewed another perched up male singing up on tall bushes and small trees. Eventually, these birds should settle down, and in the past we have seen several males perched up singing along the bike trail at certain intervals. It should be easier viewing in June, although I never see the females then. I guess they stay down in the grass then.
To view the Laz area, you can park in back of a semi-deserted warehouse w/ a ProLogis sign on it. It's on S 226th, the road just south of Kent Ponds. Walk right out onto the bike trail (also known as the Power Line Trail) and you'll see the viewing tower. After the birds establish a territory, we often hear and see a male perched up and singing on the base of the big power tower, or in the blackberry vines under the power tower.
At the grassy knoll on 64th about 2 blocks south of the animal shelter, we viewed a Lesser Scaup and a Cinnamon Teal in the constructed wetland at Kent Ponds.
About 1:30pm, we visited Boeing Ponds. The water is much lower after the construction project there to keep the place from flooding. Next to the walk-in area on S 62nd Ave, we saw two Spotted Sandpipers.
To see a map of the area, and read a somewhat-dated article about Kent Ponds and Boeing Ponds, see www.rainieraudubon.org Click on Going Birding?, and then on Kent Ponds or Boeing Ponds.
Yours, Carol Schulz
Des Moines

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