06 September 2010

Northeast Iowa

Ashley and I spent a quick 24 hours up in northeast Iowa this weekend birding at Yellow River and Mines of Spain (Dubuque).  Although conditions were a bit breezy and buggy for prime birding, we managed 17 species of warblers among many other migrants.  Here are some highlights and pictures...


Considering what I have been used to here in central Iowa, the numbers of warblers we saw (despite the conditions) was pretty enjoyable.  I'm not sure if we have had a 16-warb-day in Iowa before.  Anyway, here is our warbler list, in order from most abundant to least abundant: 

(YR = Yellow River, MS = Mines of Spain):

American Redstart (20+, YR, MOS)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (20+, YR, MOS)
Tennessee Warbler (20+ YR, MOS)
Magnolia Warbler (10+, YR, MOS)
Black-and-white Warbler (10+, YR, MOS)
Nashville Warbler (10+, MOS)
Common Yellowthroat (5+, YR, MOS)
Black-throated Green Warbler ( 5+, YR, MOS)
Blackburnian Warbler (3, YR, MOS)
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER (3, MOS) - Perhaps the most surprising this trip.
Ovenbird (3, YR, MOS)
Bay-breasted Warbler (2, YR, MOS)
Northern Parula (1, MOS)
Northern Waterthrush (1, MOS)
Golden-winged Warbler (1, MOS) - It took us a while but we eventually found a singleton.
Wilson's Warbler (1, MOS) - Not sure why we had so few!  
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (1, YR) - A pretty early bird, one of our better finds.

Some misses (for one reason or another) included:
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Canada Warbler - We're past peak here in IA but I'm still surprised we missed this.
Mourning Warbler - Same goes for MOWA's.


We had only 2 BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS but this male put on a decent show:

One of the most common warbler species were MAGNOLIA WARBLERS.  Here is one keeping it's eye on something above it:


We managed 4 species but missed Blue-headed:

Red-eyed Vireo - Abundant!
Yellow-throated Vireo - Surprisingly common, we probably had 5+
Philadelphia Vireo - 3
Warbling Vireo - 1 (not surprising, it's getting late for these guys)

The PHILADELPHIA VIREOS were my first for the fall.  At one point, we had 3 quite close to each other.  Here is a funny capture that shows two of them at once:


EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES were abundant and there were still several GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS around as well.  

We didn't have any Yellow-bellied Flycatchers which was disappointing but I still expect to find a couple yet this fall.  We only had one empid and that was this lone LEAST FLYCATCHER:


I was happy to find WOOD THRUSHES (2) at Mines of Spain this morning.  I haven't had one in IA for a couple months!  Other than that and AMRO's, we had no other thrushes this weekend.  My state Gray-cheeked Thrush will have to wait...

I was also happy to see this lone PURPLE FINCH, my first for the fall:

Some other expected migrants included:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Scarlet Tanager - At least 2-3 birds including this one that stayed still for a second: