Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Birds, birds, birds, BIRDS!!!

Well, where do I start!?!? It was a great day!! First Pete Smith (a good birding friend of mine) picked me up at about 10:00-ish. We stopped by a little bog-like thing, where Northern Saw-whet Owls breed. We stepped out, and had almost no birds of any kind at all!!!! Then, BLAMMERS!!! We saw a large flock of little white-ish birds frenzying around a birch tree. REDPOLLS!!! Woo hoo!! We blared up the road and wow!! About 80 redpolls were freaking out on this birch tree. I grabbed the scope, and for some reason, I started searching for a Hoary Redpoll candidate. Scanning, Pete and I, found a few good candidates, and one concrete for sure Hoary Redpoll. LIFER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After that amazing encounter, we went into town, and wandered Columbia Falls, looking for Pine Grosbeaks, and waxwings. We, of course, saw TONS of birds!! Over the course of the day, we tally about 65 PINE GROSBEAKS!! That is the most I have seen at one time, then all the birds I have seen in my entire life combined!!!! I have seen many since Monday, but not 65 in one day!!

Then we went to check out the local Gullery, or called Flathead County Landfill. Upon arriving, there was only 20+ gulls, and soon after we got there, they left us. In the flock was one juvenile Thayer's Gull, among the Herring and Ring-billed Gulls.

(* SPECIAL NOTE - If anyone wants to visit the gullery, please park on the same level as the active dumping, and no where else, but park out of the way of the machines!! THANK YOU!!!*)

Juvenile Thayer's Gull
After the run at the dump, we went back to Pete Smith's house to photograph Chestnut-backed Chickadees. It was great!! There was a total of 4 birds coming to his feeder continuously. They put on quite a show!!

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