Saturday, April 4, 2009

Birding in the Wind

This morning, the wind was blowing at 40 mph and the only birds I could see outside my front window were horned larks and flying tumbleweeds. What was the point of going out in weather like that? However, the birder in me won out. After all, who knew what might show up at the lake during migration? So, I hopped in the car and drove the 5 miles to Karval Lake.

My blustery trip was well-rewarded with 22 birds seen on the journey. Species in the water included American Coot, American Widgeon, Redhead, Bufflehead, Mallard, Green-wing Teal, Northern Shoveler, and Yellowlegs. Red-winged Blackbirds, Western Meadowlarks, and even a White-crowned Sparrow blew in for brief appearances. The Great-horned Owl, nesting along the road just east of town, huddled in her swaying nest, faithfully protecting her young.

I thought the Mountain Bluebirds had headed north last week, but they popped up again. Maybe the north wind blew them back from Wyoming!

It's great to see these birds coming in time for the Karval Mountain Plover Festival on April 24-26.

Spring firsts for this week:

  • Common Grackles were seen in town.
  • Burrowing Owls were heard calling in the fields.
  • Sharp-shin Hawks were spotted in town.

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