Camas NWR, Saturday Sept 20, 2014
Sandhill cranes Great blue herons a pair of Trumpeter swans with 3 cygnets Northern Harriers Red tailed hawks lesser yellowlegs American avocet and Black necked stilts a few peeps Wilson's phalaropes Eared grebes Pied billed grebes still a few White faced ibis Canada geese Mallards Pintails American wigeons Mourning doves and Collared doves Hairy and downy woodpeckers Cinnamon teal Ruddy ducks Sharp shin hawk Merlin Marsh wrens Tons of yellow rump warblers Wilson's warblers (a magnolia warbler reported on the 19th) a Townsend's warbler a Tennessee warbler 2 spp. of vireo American robin Hermit thrush and another thrush spp (?) Ruby crowned kinglets Oregon juncoes White crown sparrows Song sparrows Lincoln's sparrows Red winged blackbirds Cow birds European starlings
Pronghorns (about 15), Elk (more than 50, cows and bulls mixed not in harems yet), 2 young moose
Please let us know about the birds you see in Eastern Idaho. Contact Snake River Audubon with your sightings. Include the date, general location, and species observed, also any interesting behaviors and a count or estimate of the numbers of birds seen.
Opening Day for duck season.
We had 7 people: me, Jean, Glen and Melinda, Tim and Wendy, and Ginny (Greg Rice’s sister!). That was 6 more than I expected. No one got shot, and it turned out to be a good day. The weather was lowering but still pretty fair and not windy. Trash haul was medium amount, and afterward we went over to the west side to check out the new windrow Melinda helped plant two weeks ago. Ducks were all laying low, but there were many, many coot, several pied bill grebes and one western. The new shelter belt to be is back past the “back” shelter belt and to the right (south), and runs east-west (perpendicular to the existing belts. They planted a diversity of trees; I hope it does well.
From there we walked back along the canal levee that runs behind the east end of the new trees, and curves around to the west to fill the front marsh. About half way back we stopped at “Greg’s” tree that lies to the south of the existing shelter belts at a bend of the canal. The tree, appropriately enough, was jumping! It had several kinglets, a downy woodpecker, 3 redwing blackbirds (along the canal behind), and first 1 and then a whole flock of yellow rumps. Also just past the tree we found a recently dead sage grouse that was apparently (I’d like to believe) accidentally shot by a blind duck hunter. Kind of a bummer, but we all got an up close look at a nice looking male greater sage grouse. Only yesterday I spent an hour in Bernadette’s studio talking with her about the logo she's doing for us, sage grouse, and the differences in appearance between Gunnison and Big sage grouse.
I should add miscellaneous birds here and there: chipping and song sparrows, a marsh wren, an osprey and 2 harriers, at least 30 Canada geese in one flock, maybe more, and a worried looking pheasant near headquarters. Glen saw a shrike (he was noncommittal about northern or loggerhead).
The old shelter belts were full of birds too, but we stayed out for fear of lurking hunters. Instead we adjourned to the truck stop for a late lunch in good company.
The good news is it wasn't really cold... But it did rain all night and much of Saturday as well. And the sky was not cooperative for star gazing. But Craters is a treat any time of year, and the rocks don't care what the weather is. But the birds do. Although still mild weather, there were very few birds to be seen or heard. But scarcity makes it fun. Join us for the Craters of the Moon Christmas Bird Count, tentatively Monday, December 15. Contact us at,Snake River Audubon or go to National Audubon for details: http://www.audubon.org.