Terrible Photos of Pretty Good Birds

First, I’d like to say that if anyone has traveled here thanks to the shout out that I got from 10,000 birds, thank you!

I went looking for migrants in Fort Wayne this weekend, but with all of the flooding that we have right now it wasn’t easy. I made a quick stop at Eagle Marsh looking for rails and warblers, but it was mostly inaccessible from high water so I didn’t find much beyond year bird #092 Barn Swallow (#091 Chimney Swift was seen earlier in the week at Lakeside Park).

Somewhat discouraged, I headed to Fox Island. But the road was flooded, so I had to turn around.

My next stop was Franke Park, where I had substantially better luck. New year birds were #093 Gray Catbird, #094 Winter Wren, and #095 Northern Rough-Winged Swallow. I did not get photographs of any of them.

Later in the day, a tip from IN-Bird-L let me know about a Cattle Egret close to Eagle Marsh, so Jaime and I went over again with a specific target bird on our list.

#096 Great Egret

#096 Great Egret

We were happy to see small white blobs in the distance at Eagle Marsh. They did not include a Cattle Egret, but Great Egrets were still a needed year bird for me, clocking in at #096.

#097 Cattle Egret

#097 Cattle Egret

A little further down the road, we hit paydirt. This is what a Cattle Egret looks like from about 200 yards away (he is the one up in the tree). If he was by himself, I would not have been positive on the ID. But thankfully he was hanging out with a Great Blue Heron and a few other Great Egrets for size comparison, and in this shot I was able to discern his short bill. Year bird #097, and my first viewing of this species in the Midwest.

#098 Peregrine Falcon

#098 Peregrine Falcon

After our successful Egret hunt, Jaime and I had dinner at Pint and Slice in downtown Fort Wayne. Birds were totally off of my radar until we both heard a strange screeching noise coming from directly above us. Looking 90 degrees straight up, we found one of the city’s resident Peregrine Falcons peeking out from over the top of the PNC Center. I had seen evidence of this fellow earlier in the week when I stumbled upon the disembodied wing of a Northern Flicker on the sidewalk in front of my office, so it was nice to see the perpetrator himself for year bird #098.

I have 9 days to find 2 more birds to meet my 100 bird deadline for the end of April. Hopefully, they can also be additions to a brand new yard list when we are moved into our new house!

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