Monday, March 15, 2010

Very Full Weekend of Birding

Spring is essentially here in the Flathead Valley!!

The American Robins have arrived in full force lately, and I had a chance to get a shot of on before work.

SATURDAY: The Flathead Audubon was holding an all day trip to the Mission Valley, and I tagged along for the adventure...more like co-lead the trip!

Before I meant with the fellow trip-folk, I check Chruch Slough and saw several Eurasian Wigeon, and many REDHEADS (yearbird #1 for the day). Dan Casey had a Snow Goose down here, so that was my main target before embarking to the Mission Valley. I did not get it at Church Slough but rather just south of there in the fields with Canada's.

SNOW GOOSE - yearbird #2

We meet, then left for the Mission. On the way down, we saw a single CLARK'S NUTCRACKER (#3) fly in front of us, and a Northern Shrike on a wire

The going was slow once we got down there. Plenty of Red-tailed Hawks and Rough-legged Hawks around, along with Great Horned Owls, and various waterfowl species.

We have been seeing these birds, but nothing really "springy" or small like a Bluebird or Meadowlark or anything! I was looking forward to the small birds that you just randomly run across...that is what makes birding really fun! Finally, though, we did find some small interesting birds


Cool bird.... we found a pair of them and they were singing. Neat stuff!

It was weird, I was kinda in a haze for the beginning of the trip, but after those Meadowlarks it was like I woke up and loosened up. The birds and overall feel of the day increased and the sun even came out!!!!

Noticing my almost total lack of bird photos for the day, I decided I must take shots of the group to sort of "spruce up" this blog post.

This is our vehicle, with its inhabitants pointing and poseing just for my blog!

Also, you can tell if my blog post is lacking with bird shots by a photo of my scope

In some of the pothole marshes in the Mission Valley we had a smattering of CANVASBACKS (yearbird #5)

Like I said there was a lot of Great Horned Owls seen on this trip and this one was about the

only one that was photographable.

So, for the final chapter in this days' story:

The sun was getting low, we went to a certain road where Short-eared Owls were to be semi-regular. We waited and waited, and while waiting some more, a flock of about 30 Snow Geese flew over us!!

So as some of our group left, they spotted a SHORT-EARED OWL! (#6) we quickly ran down and found in total about 4 owls! What a show! One even displayed somewhat!

^a view of the Mission Mountains^

I ended the day with 6 new yearbirds, bringing me to 83 for the year!

SUNDAY: After church, I decided to look for some first-of-the-year bluebirds

I checked the area around my place, and around Creston.....nothin'
The usual birds were around, Montford Rd pond was still frozen.
At Church Slough, things picked up. I saw at least 5 male Eurasian Wigeon!!!! They are such cool looking birds.
I did see a Tundra Swan with a neck collar reading U511. Cool stuff!
I ended the weekend with 83 species for the year...a good start

1 comment:

  1. Nice pics and some good stuff there Josh. Love that gt horned owl a real beaut. Short eared owls used to display over our nature reserve until they built a golf course and long eared owls took over.
    Great scope pics I'll have to remember that trick on birdless days - sure you'd love to see pics of Big Bertha in a variety of habitiats.