[Tweeters] Kent Ponds - Blue-winged Teal, Bitterns

Carol & Lynn Schulz carol.schulz50 at gmail.com
Thu May 29 16:44:21 PDT 2014

Hi Tweets:
My sister and I were down at Kent Ponds mid-day today, Thurs, May 29. Our first stop was at the Grassy Knoll south of the animal shelter on 64th Ave S. From the knoll we could see several species of duck down in the shallow waters, including a male BLUE-WINGED TEAL in the mud at the side of one pond. Other ducks included a male Amer. Wigeon, a male N. Shoveler, and some Gadwalls and Mallards. A Yellow Warbler was singing, and a Cooper's Hawk was flying about over near the Animal Shelter. The Grt-Blue Heronry behind the animal shelter (it has approx. 47 nests) had herons flying in and out.
Over by the bike path along the south edge of the ponds, we parked at a gravel parking lot in a big field along S 226th, and walked out to the path and over to the south observation tower. An AMERICAN BITTERN was "oonk a loonking" right below us in the thick foliage at the edge of the water. I also heard a second one doing the same call from the field behind us to the west where there is a well-hidden wetland. Eventually we saw the Bittern below us fly to another spot near to us, and it started doing it's breeding call again. The Bittern did not seem to mind that we were there.
We then walked along the bike trail to the west hoping to see a Lazuli Bunting. We didn't do playback, and didn't see one, but about 0.2 mile to the west of the observation tower entrance we heard one singing over inside the fence. We never saw it. Along the way we heard a few Willow Flycatchers, saw 2 or 3 male Rufous Hummers, and saw a Western Scrub Jay on and near the fence.
Then we walked to the east along the trail. Still no Laz's. Several swallows were flying, and in the group there were two Vaux's Swifts. A Savannah Sparrow was perched up on a fence post singing. A Cooper's Hawk was flying. Cedar Waxwings were very active.
It was a warm, cloudy day, perfect for birding.
Yours, Carol Schulz
Des Moines

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