Sunday, July 13, 2014

Negri-Nepote Grasslands 7/13--Dickcissel

It looked for a while that today's target bird wasn't going to make its annual appearance at Negri-Nepote Grasslands this year, but finally, about a week ago, a female Dickcissel was found to be feeding a couple of juveniles. Where the male is or was and the sudden appearance of the nest remain a mystery. A female DICK isn't as satisfying as a singing male, but it is a rarity, so it seemed worth trying for.

I drove up there this morning with no great hopes of finding the bird, but, if you don't look, you definitely won't find it. I was happy to run into my friends Joe & Elizabeth who had an odd bird in their scope. We were trying to turn it into a juvenile Dickcissel when a local birder came by and told us we had a juvenile cowbird. I was a little dubious about that, not seeing any striping on the bird, but we knew we didn't have the Dickcissel. A few minutes later, the same birder called out "There it is," and a few feet before us, perched on the top of very small tree, was the female DICK, with all the appropriate field marks. Great. "Now," I said, "I can do some birding."

Except I couldn't because, as we were walking to the little pond on the property to see if any shorebirds were around, the overcast sky became more threatening and then rain began, so, after a cursory look at the pond, and finding nothing but some Tree Swallows swooping over the surface, we headed back to the parking lot. So I got my target bird and pretty much nothing else.

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