Saturday, November 10, 2012

Birding On The Eastern Plains

November 7, 2012

Richard Stevens:

Sprague's Pipit reports have been scarce this fall.  We hoped to have the first November sighting.  In addition, Common Redpolls have been somewhat common.  A sighting of them would be exciting.  Perhaps a migrating "Ammodramus" sparrow would appear?

An early stop at the Pony Express Wildlife Area found four Common Redpolls in the field between Sedgwick County Road 28 and the parking area.  A male Red-bellied Woodpecker worked the trees at along the South Platte River.

A drive around Jumbo Reservoir was superb.  We found a Dunlin along the shore in the southeast corner.  Several Greater White-fronted Geese were among hundreds of geese trying not to be shot by hunters.  At least two Greater Scaup were among the many waterfowl on the lake.

A singing meadowlark sounded quite like an Eastern Meadowlark.  We scoped it for a long time before deciding that it was a Western Meadowlark.  Unfortunately, the yellow on the face extended too far onto the malar area.  Its flanks looked more creamy colored than buffy.  The song however…….sure sounded like an Eastern.

The day was fantastic.  Almost no wind and temperatures in the high 60s.  We hiked from Jumbo Reservoir to Little Jumbo Reservoir to enjoy this fall day.  Our reward was another two Common Redpolls (hills southeast of Little Jumbo).

In the afternoon, we visited two friend's ranches.  Both have had American Woodcocks on their properties in the past.  There were no recent reports however.

Sedgwick Cemetery had few birds and no uncommon ones.  Our birding day ended with a walk along Sedgwick Draw. No Short-eared Owls appeared tonight.  Many sparrows seen along the Ditch included White-crowned, American Tree, and one Field Sparrow.

Misses: Sprague's Pipits

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