Neal Smith Prairie Preserve

Last night after supper Barbara and I drove out to the Neal Smith Prairie Preserve near Prairie City to try to find a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.  Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are quite unusual in Iowa although they are common further south, particularly in Oklahoma where it is the State Bird.  Earlier in the evening an Illinois birder who was at Neal Smith spotted the Flycatcher at the west side of the buffalo enclosure and notified the Iowa Birdline.  When I saw the report online about 6:00 last night I mentioned it to Barbara and we decided to take a drive out to the Prairie on this beautiful June evening.  The Flycatcher was very near where it had been seen before in the day, and Barbara was able to get some pictures.

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This was not a “life bird” for me but it was an “Iowa life bird” as I had never seen one in Iowa before.  It becomes my Iowa life bird # 323.  As long as we were at the Prairie, we decided to take a slow drive through the buffalo enclosure.  The Dickcissels were singing along the way.

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Not far along we came upon the buffalo herd, lazily grazing along the road.  The bulls, cows and spring calves were all mixed together.  Barbara bravely opened her window to get some close-ups of this amazing herd.

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The lovely sunset added to the joy of the evening on the Prairie.

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And an almost full moon.

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Scarlet Tanager

Earlier this week a Scarlet Tanager collided with our deck door window.  I am afraid it nearly did him in, but Barbara put out a shallow tray of water and shaded him, and within a half hour he was moving about and flew away.  I hope he is ok…

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Backyard Turkey Poults

On this beautiful June 25th morning the first of the year turkey poults showed up in the woods behind our house.  There were 3 hens and at least 5 poults.  I would estimate the poults were about 2 weeks old.  They stayed in the shaded, grassy area so I could not get an accurate count.  Last year at this time the brood(s) numbered 13 with 2 hens.  I suspect our wet June weather may have impacted their reproduction success this year.