Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tennessee Warbler and a Dusky Grouse moment

Friday, my friends and I went to look around Glacier National Park for fun. We drove up to where Avalanche Creek meets McDonald Creek, and believe it or not....I got to see a TENNESSEE WARBLER!!! It was singing a shortened version of its song, very similar to a Wilson's Warbler which I thought I was looking for!

This is Dan Casey's AMAZING digiscoped shot of the Tennessee at Tally Lake, but this is about the SAME view I had at the one in the park!

Now, several hours later, my friends and I drove up a back round in Big Mountain and we found a displaying DUSKY GROUSE! That was soooo coool to see him display and make that deep booming noise!!

What a great day of birds!!

Tally Lake Warbler Weekend!!!

The "Tally Lake WARBLER Weekend" 3rd annual camping trip was this June 11, 12, 13th this year.

The local Audubon reserves a section of the campground and we all just hang out and bird leisurely or vigorously depending on when you wake up and what you wanna see.

I was in Lewistown for half of the weekend, and I got to the campground around 8pm Saturday. By then, this is how much birding was going on at the moment...

Not bad! That evening I did hear a Red-eyed Vireo, which was a yearbird. Also, they had a singing TENNESSEE WARBLER all day and I got to hear it sing many times but we didn't see it :( maybe another time I will get a good look at one. I was pretty bummed but that wouldn't last for long....
the Dinner stove....yummy!
I got up at about 5:45ish and the sun peaked up at 6ish or so.
There was TONS of birds singing!
Orange-crowned Warblers
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Willow Flycatcher
Cassin's Vireo
Chipping Sparrow
Swainson's Thrush
Black-headed Grosbeak
Western Tanager
and more!

The sun breaking in the dew was a great photo opportunity!!!
This Swainson's Thrush posed nicely, but a tad far away

- Red-naped Sapsucker
The crew viewing some Willow Flycatchers. It was a fantastic day for birds, and spending good time with friends!

(Above Photos - various images from wandering around the area)
Leslie Kehoe and I took a little noon hike and saw some Gray Jays and this little guy!!

I ended the trip with my yearlist at 180 for the 2010. Not too bad but I am still missing lots and I need an out-of-state trip also!

Lewistown and The Nature Conservancy

HELLO again!!!

I know I have been neglecting my blog and neglecting birding as well. It has been really rough not feeding the primeval instinct to go birding, but now I finally have!

Barbara Cozzens, of The Nature Conservancy, invited me to lead a birding trip in Lewistown on June 11th, and of course, I was honored to!

My mom and I arrived on the 9th to take Thursday and scout the area for the trip. We saw some good birds along Spring Creek like Willow Flycatcher, Red-naped Sapsucker and Veery but money drove us to spend the majority of the day in town, walking around and looking at the town.

Barbara met us for dinner with a few other TNC workers and we had a great time talking all about TNC and birds and all sorts of things. The weather was great that day and we had high hope for the following day.

Of course, it was cloudy and rainy.....who'da thunk it...

We made the best of the weather and pressed on.
Our first stop was at the local fish hatchery, which was actually an incredibly birdy spot!!
We had amazing abouts of Western Wood-Pewees, and good numbers of Yellow, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Brown-headed Cowbirds, and the pewees were the most approachable birds for photos, but I didn't even manage a shot of the pewees.
They don't call it a fish hatchery for nothin'!!
We did get some good surprise birds such as a very obliging male Spotted Towhee, and a not so obliging Clay-colored Sparrow. An Osprey flew over, which no one had ever seen an Osprey in Lewistown before. Mountain Bluebirds, and this fellow also let us take a look at them...
We all soon got chilled and moved on to a cafe for some warm drinks and planned our next move.

We moved on to where my mom and I had the Veery the day before and attempted to have everyone get looks at it, but thrushes are hard to work with sometimes.
We took a nice trail along Spring Creek and got some more birds for the trip like Common Yellowthroat and Black-headed Grosbeak

Lady Slippers - almost got more attention them the majority of the birds!
We ended the official trip at some ponds north of town with Blue-winged Teal and American Avocet the main birds. Also, we ended the trip with about 50 birds exactly! not bad for a half-day trip in 7 mile circle!
From there my mom and I left for home, 6 1/2 hours away!
On the way, I talked my mom into make a stop at Freezout Lake, and here, I got a number of yearbirds such as Willet, Common and Forster's Tern.
Killdeer posing nicely at Freezout
A ULTRA cool shot of an American Avocet at Freezout

The North end of Freezout itself!
California Gull - one of the many birds that breed in large numbers at Freezout Lake. Among them are Franklin's Gull, White-faced Ibis, Black-necked Stilt, and MANY duck species. I unfortunately missed Ibis and Black-crowned Heron, though those birds require I little bit more time to find then I had that day.
On the way between Freezout and Browning, I spotted this beautiful bird!!
A Red-winged WHITEbird!! A leucistic Red-winged Blackbird! What a treat!! Leucistic means that the birds pigment cells are a bit screwy or nonfunctional, resulting in a white and tan bird!
- The Rocky Mountain Front!!!