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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yet another county tick

When it rains it pours...

Got a call from Curtis Dykstra around 5PM that he was on a highly-sought-after (for me anyway, everyone else seems to already have it) flock of Kent Co. Brewer's Blackbirds! Since we have no sod farms in the county and few huge, contiguous agricultural fields lacking forests (like Snowy Owl wintering habitat), this species has proven elusive to me for over a year now despite much searching. Fortunately it came to an end today (#231 and counting). There were at least 11 birds on the celery flats at 84th and Wilson near Byron Center. This is a spot I have long thought might host Pluvialis plovers during spring and fall migration, and might also be one of the better potential places in Kent for a late August Buff-breasted Sandpiper. I will be back at this very interesting site in the first week of May to search for both plovers, no doubt. Here are my best photos of the birds. The conditions were AWFUL, with strong sustained winds and approximately 35 degree temperatures. (aside: you're welcome to arrive any time now spring...)

Adult male
presumed second calendar year male (yellow eye but brownish body)Adult female (note the dark eye).
Video 1: male and female

Video 2: male displaying (note: the BRBL calls at the beginning are from my speakers, not the actual birds!)

Let's keep the county birds coming.

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