A Travellerspoint blog

Day 6: Medicine Root Trail

Badlands National Park, SD

sunny 81 °F

After breakfast today, my family and I drove five minutes to the Saddle Pass Trailhead and from there, we hiked a gorgeous five-mile loop trail called Medicine Root Trail.

It involved a very steep initial ascent into the cliffs where, appropriately, I found a CANYON WREN! Upon checking eBird later, I was stoked because this is an uncommon species around here — my record was the first of this year for the park! Cool when that sort of thing happens.

One Bighorn Sheep was out sunning itself.

The views were absolutely other-worldly.

The middle part of the loop took us through extensive grasslands where WESTERN MEADOWLARKS and these LARK SPARROWS reigned:

A great surprise was this BLUE GROSBEAK:


Cactus were flowering:

It was a great family hike. Back at the trailhead, a nice male ORCHARD ORIOLE was singing, a sign we are starting to reach back into eastern birds’ territories as we retreat back eastward from the Black Hills.

And a WESTERN KINGBIRD was there to remind us we are still out west!

Another short walk tonight did not yield hoped-for Common Poorwills, but Tian and I did see a ROCK WREN — photos coming tomorrow due to poor wifi connection tonight. Bird-of-the-day to the Canyon with runner-up to the Rock Wren, a very enjoyable day.

Good birding,
World Life List: 1117 Species

REVISED TRIP LIST, 138 species and counting:
Canada Goose
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
American Wigeon
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Pheasant
Ruffed Grouse
Wild Turkey
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Chimney Swift
White-throated Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
American Coot
Upland Sandpiper
Long-billed Curlew LIFE BIRD
Greater Yellowlegs
Wilson’s Phalarope
Ring-billed Gull
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
American Bittern
Turkey Vulture
Golden Eagle
Northern Harrier
Bald Eagle
Swainson’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Great Horned Owl
Burrowing Owl
Short-eared Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-naped Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Prairie Falcon
Great Crested Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Western Wood-Pewee
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Willow Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Say’s Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
Yellow-throated Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
Clark’s Nutcracker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Horned Lark
Bank Swallow
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
House Wren
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend’s Solitaire
Swainson’s Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Sage Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
House Sparrow
House Finch
Cassin’s Finch
Red Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Bullock’s Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brewer’s Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Redstart
MacGillivray’s Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Western Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Grasshopper Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Lark Bunting LIFE BIRD
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Brewer’s Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Eastern Towhee

Posted by skwclar 22:06 Archived in USA

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