A Travellerspoint blog

Day 5: Silver Creek Nature Preserve

all seasons in one day 86 °F

Today my mom drove me to the nearby Silver Creek Nature Preserve so that I could find a nest of Long-eared Owls, which would be an awesome lifer for me if I found them. Read on to see if I successfully accomplished that goal!

When we arrived, we were greeted by the very productive hummingbird feeders the Nature Conservancy has set up on the deck of the visitor center. This picture shows, from left to right, a male BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD and a female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD:

Then, I birded the preserve, looking for the owl nest. I found this far-away female NORTHERN HARRIER:

Next, I saw this EASTERN KINGBIRD, which, in some parts of Idaho like at Silver Creek, are strangely more common than Western Kingbirds:

Finally, I found the Long-eared Owl nest, but alas, everyone in the owl family had fledged and dispersed to other areas so I did not found the owls themselves! How frustrating!

Anyway, my "consolation bird" was four heard-only VIRGINIA RAILS, which were all belting out their "grunting pig" song across the marsh at the preserve. Sadly, as this bird is infamous to be one of toughest birds in the world to see, all four of these birds lived up to their reputation and sang in the marsh three feet away from me but managed to keep put of sight. So I guess that even though this is somewhat of a consolation bird for the owls, I had a frustrating experience with this species today, as well!

No awards for owls with vacant nests or heard-only marsh chickens so a I guess the bird-of-the-day award will be shared by the six raptors I had great looks at:

I also have a new "nemesis bird" because, if you can remember, I went to a forest preserve in Chicago this past March and trudged for two hours in patches of snow, flooded woodlands, and thorny thickets in order to find Long-eared Owls, which had departed just the day before! Now today my mom and I set aside an entire excursion for these birds, and, once again, they were no-shows. And don't even get me started on my other nemesis bird (which happens to be an owl, as well), the Great Gray...

Full species list for the day is below. Good[ish] birding, and as always, stay tuned!

World Life List: 683 Species (1 life bird today: Virginia Rail)

41 species today:

Mallard 6
Great Blue Heron 1
Northern Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Bald Eagle 1
Swainson's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 6
Virginia Rail 4
Killdeer 1
Spotted Sandpiper 5
Eurasian Collared-Dove 2
Mourning Dove 10
Black-chinned Hummingbird 1
Rufous Hummingbird 4
Belted Kingfisher 1
Lewis's Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 1
American Kestrel 2
Western Wood-Pewee 5
Willow Flycatcher 5
Eastern Kingbird 6
Black-billed Magpie 10
American Crow 10
Common Raven 5
Violet-green Swallow 30
Barn Swallow 10
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Marsh Wren 8
American Robin 10
European Starling 24
Cedar Waxwing 8
Common Yellowthroat 1
Yellow Warbler 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
Song Sparrow 5
Western Tanager 1
Red-winged Blackbird X
Western Meadowlark 2
Brewer's Blackbird X
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow X

Posted by skwclar 14:08 Archived in USA

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