Kingbirds, Phalaropes & Owl

Definitely a hot one today and not many people at Reifel when I showed up to help out on the trails this afternoon. While still fairly quiet on the birding front, there were a couple of interesting sightings.

The highlight of the day was an update on the Eastern Kingbird pair that have been at the sanctuary for some time now. The question in everyone’s mind has been could they be nesting here. That got answered this morning with the nest being located in a tree at the edge of one of the little islands heading out towards the west field. The best angle is probably from the beginning of the south dyke trail looking west using a scope for viewing. While I could make it out with my camera,

Eastern Kingbird Nest
Eastern Kingbird Nest

… it is too far off for pictures. I did manage to observe them trading places on the nest while watching it for awhile this afternoon. I believe the last record of Kingbirds nesting at the sanctuary was about 15 years ago.

Last week in the outer ponds there was one Wilson’s Phalarope.

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

This afternoon there were three in with the Dowitchers out beyond the tower.

While there were no reports of owls from the morning walk,

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

… I did find one of the adult Great Horned Owls this afternoon off the east dyke trail. At the time of this photo it was watching something intently in the field below. Shortly after this shot it swooped down out of sight after what ever it was.