Sunday, January 18, 2009

A 'round the lake Trip

Yesterday, the 16th, Dan Casey as I tried for a mini Big Day around the Flathead Valley. We started up at my house, and worked down through the open-country, looking for more species. We stopped at a few feed lots, where there were many hungry cows, and many more blackbirds, of various species. Out of the hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds, we found quite a few Brewer's Blackbirds, which was a new year bird! #61. A little bit later (or before?) we ran across a flock of Snow Buntings, #62 that gave distant, fleeting looks, before they disappeared. Our next target bird was Chestnut-backed Chickadee, which is a semi-rare bird in the valley, unless you know where to go. We found about 4 or 5 birds, that gave us great viewing opportunities, but the light wasn't the best for photos

Just after that, we ran into a flock of Pine Grosbeaks, and Bohemian Waxwings, and the grosbeaks let us get AMAZINGLY close!

We birded all the way around Flathead Lake, finding some really good birds too, like Red-breasted merganser, and Long-eared Owl. It was turning out to be an amazing day, but what really made it super-amazing was back up near Somers, we found a large flock of Bohemian ans Cedar Waxwings, with several Pine Grosbeaks, and an American Robin. We were so close to the waxwings, it was FANTANSTIC! Too bad it wasn't sunny, or all my 200+ pictures wouldn't have been so dang dark!!! My best shots are very dark (The second photo is the "best", but also really dark)

It was a great day, and I added 16 or so (17??) new year birds to me year list, which is now at 76 (77?)

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