Friday, July 23, 2010

And It Has Begun, The Birds that wander the Shore

I have been hearing news of it, but I was unsure if it was true. Could it be? It seems too early for it to start, or at least for here.

I was optimistic and had to go see for myself.

Sad part is that I needed an excuse to go out birding this time. I had to go pick up something in Bigfork, and made a birding trip out of it!

Many Brewer's Blackbirds along the various back roads out here. Also, a few geese just hanging around in the fields.

Montford Road pond (above) is getting more and more .... gross, but the water level is going down. That is good for August birding adventures. On the other section of the pond not pictured above, a very odd bird was hiding and I didn't see it until it flew up. A single AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN!! What the .....? That is a weird and good find for the valley!!! WOOHOO!

First pelican of the year! 190th ABA bird for 2010

Cinnamon Teal, a large family of Ruddy Ducks, many American Coots, Marsh Wrens and a single Great Blue Heron also were making a living here on the pond.

- Red-tailed Hawks are very common in the valley.

The next pond didn't really have much new at all, but did have a good amount of Clay-colored Sparrows in the bushes!! Sweet birds! I really like Clay-coloreds.
LOWER VALLEY: On to SPLIT POND. In the past, it has been the best pond to view shorebird in August. On the 22nd of July...not so much.
There was, however, Yellow-headed Blackbirds as usual. Red-winged Blackbirds, Redheads, Common Goldeneye, Mallards, Bank and Tree Swallows were also just hangin' round.

Next was the pond along Farm Rd. FINALLY! some mudflats along the edge of the pond! 4 or 5 Killdeer, 2 actual Deer in the background and a Turkey Vulture flying around....and wait...PEEPS! (birder slang for Sandpipers) After a long study of them, far away and in the wind, I came to the conclusion I need to read up on my shorebirds. I'm a bit rusty.

Least Sandpipers, 3 of them, along with a Spotted Sandpiper! Great stuff! The Least Sandpiper is my 191st yearbird.

It was true. Still a bit early, but it has begun, the birds that wander the shore have begun to fly. Fly south on there twice-yearly journey - migration.

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