Monday, March 9, 2009

Birding Iowa

Made Iowa. I didn’t see much in Southern Illinois but once we crossed the state line, things started to pick up. As I crossed the mighty Mississippi River on I-74, 2 eagles caught my attention to the west. Saw another juvenile bald eagle an hour later, lots of Canada Geese and decent sized flocks of red-winged blackbirds. I saw a couple flocks of large birds which looked like wood storks from below (solid white with black wing tips) but wood storks are definitely not up here, so perhaps it was a flock of another species of goose. I didn’t get enough of a look to tell whether or not the black extended down the ventral side of the wing.

Only minutes from our destination we stopped to watch 3 baldies (1 adult, 2 sub-adults) dance around on the frozen ice of Beaver Valley Wetlands reserve. A great way to finish off a road trip by keeping our good fortune of watching so many eagles over the past year in Florida streak alive.

Side note: Last year while passing through Beaver Valley Wetlands (a road bisects the wetland), I saw a nice sized snapping turtle basking about 6 ft above the water, assisted another snapper while trying to cross the road and found a dead northern water snake in the same stretch.

- Matt