A Travellerspoint blog

Day 12: Silver Creek Preserve & Magic Reservoir

semi-overcast 79 °F

Today my family took me birding to two major birding hotspots here in Blaine County, Idaho: Silver Creek Preserve and the Magic Reservoir. It was a beautiful day for birding with partly sunny skies and temperatures topping out at a pleasant 79 degrees.

We left our condo at about 6:40am and arrived at Silver Creek by 7:30am. Along the drive, I saw a flock of beautiful YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS so my dad pulled the car over alongside the road which allowed for me to take this photo of one of them:
636DB2ECF52900EC8B7E6F3E12C63E49.jpg

When we arrived at the preserve, I immediately started hiking on one of the trails there, when suddenly, as I passed through a large thicket just a few paces beyond the visitor center, a LONG-EARED OWL flushed from in front of me! LIFE BIRD #858! It flew away too quickly for photos but it allowed just enough time for identification. It flushed from near this nest, so maybe this is its nest? I also saw a second Long-eared a few minutes later, further strengthening my theory that this is indeed their nest:
63738E010067B3FC13033A0AECA67070.jpg

I got a SECOND LIFE BIRD, #859 on my life list, at Silver Creek this morning, as well! It was a flock of CANVASBACKS, a type of duck I have never seen before:
639B7817F8D26406BD489E96369AE4C2.jpg

Silver Creek Preserve is a beautiful place owned by the Nature Conservancy and it is actually a more common destination for fishers than birders.
6386EA28C63C3BAF1F65CF487C3383E4.jpg

In total, I had 50 bird species at Silver Creek. More photos are below; this is an EASTERN KINGBIRD:
637038CCEC875B95D177550663FD9419.jpg

Jackrabbit:
6385B3D99E95845859A823D3A1977089.jpg

WILLOW FLYCATCHER:
6388CC6AFF1981CA705FD61029368B15.jpg

Preening MARSH WREN, actually a good luck for this typically hard-to-photograph species:
638F58E3DB4DDEA5956AADF789E96E79.jpg

Female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD. Silver Creek has a fantastic hummingbird feeder display at their visitor center which always attracts a bounty of feisty little hummers.
638999CCDFB772B69A7A9B31C5B4ED20.jpg

Male BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD:
63907DCC924E68AA03667B04D25017C9.jpg

Two female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS:
639140D9F647EA7BB349BEEE0590C0ED.jpg

Female NORTHERN HARRIERS; two of these were actively hunting the grasslands at the preserve:
6392024FE81AEF34DF9F2F9D661ECF0F.jpg6392A3E3AA780751905C902D6B87FC3C.jpg

AMERICAN WIGEON:
6398D49FC88D91E2EFD9114698D97FFA.jpg

VESPER SPARROW:
639A8BA2B58F26DE3B1159019EC909D7.jpg

Female AMERICAN KESTREL, a type of small falcon:
639C47AFC9EFC4AAE9C4186B54314ECD.jpg

WESTERN MEADOWLARK:
63A074DCE904000F659166DAB94B70ED.jpg

BALD EAGLE:
63A1BE76D2C81D1A1708F8729E18413A.jpg

Doe Deer:
63A70183B45B03DB74CC6E50DA5FC753.jpg

My mom, my sister Pearl, and I posing in front of the entrance sign to Silver Creek Preserve:
63A91390C92F5FE374BACAC7250AD9F6.jpg

Here is the full avian species list for Silver Creek Preserve:

50 species including 2 life birds:

Canada Goose
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Cinnamon Teal
NORTHERN PINTAIL
CANVASBACK - LIFE BIRD!
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
VIRGINIA RAIL
Sandhill Crane
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
LONG-EARED OWL - LIFE BIRD!
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Northern Flicker
Willow Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Violet-green Swallow
Barn Swallow
House Wren
Marsh Wren
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
WILSON'S WARBLER
Western Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
American Goldfinch

Then, we drove to the western access of the Magic Reservoir and arrived at about 10:45am. I showed my family a grove of trees where COMMON NIGHTHAWKS reliably roost, and sure enough, they were there! Here is one of them:
63A9D58AB5BA46EDB64BF9D49092210B.jpg

Then, I spent about an hour scoping water birds in the Magic Reservoir, which had very low water levels so most of the birds were quite far away; however, there were flocks and flocks of waterbirds - there were just so many! This photo doesn't even do the number of birds that were there justice. I believe there are CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS, GADWALL, RING-BILLED GULLS, and SOLITARY, SEMIPALMATED, & WESTERN SANDPIPERS in this photo alone:
63AC40C30DCDB6C4869D0856ED4F9172.jpg

The best bird at Magic Reservoir was this MARBLED GODWIT very far out on the mudflat, the brownish shorebird in the center of the photo, which is a very uncommon species for Idaho:
63B3A28F0ED99367B9D381E500DE571B.jpg

AMERICAN AVOCETS like this one were fairly plentiful:
63AB30379C1666F96745DE710AF466C4.jpg

A large flock of AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS:
63B89BD3DA9A0401A9FA5AEB0E93665F.jpg

WHITE-FACED IBIS:
63B9CC040022C5F34D7D5E38BC8FC942.jpg

On the drive back to the condo, we spotted more birds alongside - or even on the road in the case of this large covey of CALIFORNIA QUAIL (which had 18 chicks!):
63BADF80A27CDB5801A7D97B641D443F.jpg

Female LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, an uncommon species:
63BBE1559DF19CF958595FF145D1D9CE.jpg

Here is the full avian species list for the Magic Reservoir and the surrounding areas.

47 species including 24 added to the day list:

Canada Goose
Gadwall
Mallard
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
California Quail
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Killdeer
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
MARBLED GODWIT
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Franklin's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Nighthawk
Willow Flycatcher
Say's Phoebe
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
House Wren
American Robin
Sage Thrasher
European Starling
Yellow Warbler
Western Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Brewer's Blackbird
House Sparrow
House Finch

Overall, it was an absolutely phenomonal day of birding with 74 species in total!

Bird-of-the-day to my life bird CANVASBACKS which allowed for photos. Runners-up to my life bird LONG-EARED OWLS who were not cooperative for photos (otherwise, they would have been top bird) as well as the rare MARBLED GODWIT. A great day!

Stay tuned because tomorrow my family and I will be taking a hike where I am sure to see many birds!

Good birding!

Henry
World Life List: 859 Species (2 life birds today: Long-eared Owl and Canvasback)

Posted by skwclar 14:03 Archived in USA

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint