Sunday, June 13, 2010

More Northern Plains Birding

June 11, 2010

Richard Stevens:

Today my goal was to walk the western side of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area. Again, it was an enjoyable day.

Highlights included:
A possible Eastern Towhee (section 1 West) looked like an Eastern Towhee, never made a sound.
Bell's Vireo (section 1 West)
Northern Cardinal (2)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (2 locations)
Eastern Screech-Owl (new location)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (3 at 3 locations)

Again found 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers, Common Yellowthroat, no warblers, several Warbling Vireos, 1 Plumbeous Vireo (unfortunately did not look like a Blue-headed Vireo at all).

I visited a private ranch (a location I inherited birding rights from Dan Bridges) and found Eastern Bluebirds, a Tennessee Warbler, a Magnolia Warbler, Warbling Vireos. This location has been responsible for several American Woodcock records; none today.

A Barn Owl flew out of the riparian area on the south side of Red Lion Wildlife Area. Nothing else unusual at Red Lion Wildlife Area or Jumbo.

My birding day ended at Yuma County Road 45. I did hear one Upland Sandpiper. No Greater Prairie-Chickens came to the CR 45 lek. A Common Poorwill called near the first cattle guard east of the CR 45 lek.

June 10, 2010

The goal today (target bird Black-billed Cuckoo) was to walk the east side of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan). This is a 7 mile stretch (therefore 14 mile round trip). It was quite a productive day.

By the way, yesterday I put together the anti-mosquito outfit. Mosquitoes were horrible at Crow Valley Campgrounds, however they never bothered me!!!

Thick long pants (no mosquito is getting through the material, or tick for that matter), Air Force coat (coated with water and mosquito repellent), mosquito net over my hat and gloves. The outfit gets warm, but not one mosquito bite!

During the trek, (I started at area 7 East), some nice birds were found (but no Black-billed Cuckoos). In no particular order:

Two Field Sparrows (near my parked car).
Yellow-billed Cuckoos at two locations including the south side of Tamarack Pond.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers (5 at 3 locations)
Baltimore Oriole (east of buildings)
Eastern Screech-Owls (at 3 locations, 2 previous known)
Northern Cardinals (2 males around Tamarack Ponds & Maintenance building)
Great Crested Flycatcher
Hooded Warbler (section 2 East)
Black-and-white Warbler (section 1 East)
Bell's Vireo (section 5)

My route was to hike the south side tree line first and then tromped through the thicker bushes nearer the river after the day warmed up. Mucho mosquitoes, beware! Except for the incredible sound, they made next to my ears, no mosquito bites!

Other interesting birds included 5 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 2 Common Yellowthroats, an eastern White-breasted Nuthatch, an eastern Warbling Vireo, and a Red-breasted Nuthatch!

My birding day ended at Roger Danka's ranch where we heard another pair of Eastern Screech-Owls calling after dark.

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