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22 Birds You Can See on the Hoover Trail May 17, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Birds, Louisa County, Morning Sun, Nature.
Tags: ,

Recently, I explored morning Morning Sun’s portion of Iowa’s Hoover Nature Trail. I’m glad I did because I was able to see several birds I had never seen before. Two of them were warblers.

You can find parking and a trail head on Division Street at the east edge of town. You’ll have your choice of walking south along the edge of town to Iowa 78, but I recommend that you head north along this fence:

In the first section of the trail, you’ll see some of the summer birds that are common but a bit unusual in town. I spotted Purple Martins, Tree Swallows, a Northern Rough-Winged Swallow, a Baltimore Oriole, and a Meadow Lark in addition to the usual sparrows, Robins, and blackbirds.

Soon the trail becomes a narrow shaded lane. With farm land to either side. There are a lot of wild berry canes to either side of the trail, so this part of the trail will be worth a visit in late June and early July.

After about a mile, you’ll pass a bench and a creek begins running next to the trail. This part of trail has wooded areas on one side or the other. The bird populations starts changing. I found myself walking through one of those magical boundary areas where there are a wide variety of birds.

Over the course of the next mile, I heard several Brown Creepers, spotted a House Wren, a Black-Hooded Warbler, a Cape May Warbler, and watched a small group of Indigo Buntings. (They were much more cooperative than the little guy who played peek-a-boo with me at Lake Odessa.)

Just as the trail was grazing the northwest corner of the golf course, I started hearing an unusually large number of bird songs. It sounded like there were scores of different birds within the space of a hundred yards.

Then I noticed that many of the birds were in the same place. That made me a little suspicious, especially since I’d heard the mewing of a Catbird just up the trail. Sure enough, most of the songs were coming from a half-dozen Catbirds. However, there were two Swainson’s Thrushes in the same area. I’d never seen one before. They look like Robins that have been dipped in olive paint.

At last, I came to the end of the trail, about a half-mile north of the golf course on L Avenue. The old railroad bridge pictured above is there. Since I had parked and walked from Morning Sun, the best way back was along the same trail–about three miles. If you’re not up to walking six miles, you may want to take a bicycle along for the return trip. While motorized vehicles are forbidden, the trail is suitable for mountain bikes.

Other species identified: House Finch, Red-winged Blackbird, Crow, Red-headed Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, Bell’s Vireo, Black-capped Chickadee, Grackle, Cardinal.



1. Luke - March 12, 2012

Do you have anymore pictures of the bridge?

Wapello Warbler - July 17, 2012

Sorry, no.

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