A Travellerspoint blog

August 2018

Idaho Wrap-up

overcast 54 °F

What a fantastic trip! Two lifers! Thanks to everyone who has made my experience here in Idaho, yet again, so enjoyable.

I leave you with one further bird — this one Poo and I found in the South Hills and is evading identification. The combination of the gigantic beak as well as the light underparts have me befuddled — ideas?
large_9343BA5F-5E0A-447D-BCD3-0F9990FD6450.jpeg

Finally, on wednesday I leave for college at the Manhattan School of Music! I am sure posting on here will be a bit sparser, but I still plan to go birding, especially in Central Park!

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List: 953 Species (2 life birds on this trip)

Posted by skwclar 05:38 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Day 20: Quest for the Idaho Endemic

South Hills, ID

sunny 89 °F

Today, my birding friend Poo Wright-Pulliam, who is also an extremely skilled painter, took me down to the South Hills of Idaho to find two would-be life birds: Cassia Crossbill and Burrowing Owl. The crossbill, interestingly enough, is endemic to this region of Idaho and was just recently split from the Red Crossbill after scientists discovered it was, in fact, a unique species! So I was really hoping to see it.

Along a scenic overlook near Twin Falls, we found CANYON WREN and WHITE-THROATED SWIFT, both great birds, but they managed to evade photography. The scenery was beautiful though:
large_65E729E4-E1A3-4A7B-AE2A-E01FD576A62A.jpeg

My first photographed species came along once we entered the South Hills when this awesome GOLDEN EAGLE flew over, my first of the year!
large_157D6D39-7F0B-4FB4-A53C-5CC23CD5588E.jpeg

Seems like appropriate habitat for a Golden!
large_FE7114DE-1EC9-498D-86F2-E48A4E3792D6.jpeg

WARBLING VIREO:
large_E6233646-8793-4AED-B651-6AA17433BA6D.jpeg

We saw this crossbill, but it was giving strange calls so unfortunately we couldn’t decide if it was a Cassia or the more common Red — they must be identified by voice. It got our juices flowing, though!
large_995B2694-004E-489D-A72D-297301D134F8.jpeg

BOOM! I had the car stop when I saw tiny birds at the top of a dead tree, and lo and behold, they were CASSIA CROSSBILLS (with some PINE SISKINS)!!! Life bird for both of us!!!
large_7E8656D3-D9A6-46C0-AB68-02BE95A99188.jpeg
large_B2856235-6541-4989-BA4B-BEB30B1D1920.jpeglarge_6EEE6CEE-E6D4-44C7-B121-E456E59BAA56.jpeglarge_7AC06757-BEB1-4DD4-BC52-38090E4B500A.jpeglarge_9931DDB4-2F1C-480D-A44D-20A701B792A8.jpeglarge_620ECAC3-F814-4A33-B1F0-4383D55C76F9.jpeglarge_E792B55F-1F22-477A-9039-3475D4851CFD.jpeglarge_07E69AD5-5C66-47A4-A48B-FCDF228A96C2.jpeglarge_EC9BD9D7-314B-4430-AA03-7FCE2C7E5068.jpeg

After finding the crossbills, we stumbled upon another uncommon sighting, this ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER:
large_FDC8D00E-C009-4DA9-A0F2-02CBE0951567.jpeg

Female LAZULI BUNTING:
large_6444DB35-BE6B-498D-AF2B-C312A0FB03F1.jpeglarge_18146571-10BD-489A-8246-CF7FD91DF075.jpeg

On the way to look for the Burrowing Owls, Poo spotted this magnificent PRAIRIE FALCON, just a life bird for me two days ago:
large_20E1F116-4F74-46C9-8D98-F466EE459995.jpeglarge_F7623B25-149C-40E3-848B-59848C0CBC27.jpeglarge_899F07F6-4B81-4987-9C49-FCD1816C89B2.jpeglarge_CEE71E3F-3BF6-4BD2-9420-1A9EE76ABAE1.jpeglarge_A36F848F-5AF7-4735-9304-BFB48D491147.jpeglarge_FDD90733-0240-4115-9349-8DA67D49E071.jpeglarge_DD5BFD41-75BB-4B04-B32D-328B74094C39.jpeglarge_5752F7E9-AFAA-4231-A28F-04B55F65CD03.jpeglarge_CF7B01A9-3E77-40B2-80F3-C7E21AC2D463.jpeglarge_04BF4E2F-1A33-4162-9415-3D260DDD1DFB.jpeglarge_D7C1BD99-4378-4492-9FC2-D0B165CE6B0D.jpeg

Its relative the AMERICAN KESTREL male was perched on a nearby post, too!
large_A5E28D7C-30FD-4511-AC75-1B0102534CDB.jpeg

WESTERN MEADOWLARK:
large_43E7A359-94E9-4D34-BF59-EA39C8F0B496.jpeg

Although we failed to find the Owls, a handful of LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES put on a wonderful show for us and allowed for great photographs!
large_A9CB3D59-76BF-440B-9EE6-CA5586064591.jpeglarge_B1C20075-BE12-4B12-B704-A4DC800DCF54.jpeglarge_2E47AB7E-721E-45C1-8440-11E0C3B5FC7F.jpeglarge_EFA07785-D90D-4BC6-9117-225497841562.jpeglarge_F63C71DF-D995-401B-A6EE-70474561588E.jpeglarge_76613E99-8D86-4817-AFC9-E283EEBF96D3.jpeglarge_27C5E1D5-B069-43CB-A81D-ACF786E9CE2D.jpeglarge_66D5606C-3717-4BB2-A9A4-EF0A33DCFF19.jpeglarge_C9873621-7123-4B87-9B2C-A98BA731AD69.jpeglarge_48F16446-BA14-484C-B47F-E6246303958F.jpeglarge_16ECE70A-6F85-4B56-9455-CC9EF1DEB3C0.jpeglarge_D20F0C91-F53A-458A-B597-E7AAD7F8B343.jpeglarge_D8041C78-D386-4AA3-98D4-48415FE87509.jpeglarge_9B8D1C40-517B-494B-8FF5-7C66070A4807.jpeglarge_8C6C4A44-B929-471F-8BC7-3D1889181DCF.jpeglarge_4ACB5165-3424-4938-8387-D17234ADD1F4.jpeglarge_17455283-9688-4237-8F51-C2D37AE20227.jpeg

Back up north near the Richfield Diversion where we were looking for the mockingbird from thursday, we came upon this COMMON NIGHTHAWK:
large_818A8E05-7CF3-4A26-84E8-182E64A2DFB5.jpeg

CINNAMON TEAL with a GREAT BLUE HERON:
large_886C3498-7631-4A7E-8820-65ADAD0CE656.jpeg

And a cool SAGE THRASHER, a relative of the mockingbird, which unfortunately we were never able to find.
large_19F9BB2B-D3B1-4AAF-A659-C13C81B9A1DF.jpeg

Then, we visited a little-known canyon on the opposite side of the highway and were astounded by its beauty and fantastic rock formations!
large_7B0D2744-BABC-4DC8-8EBC-3C4CED888E3C.jpeglarge_3C333926-175F-42BE-BD74-711B0754E3B8.jpeg

Then, we found a BREWER’S SPARROW:
large_1FD1F376-9152-4E73-AF87-80D92163C72B.jpeg

And this YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, very cool!
large_453401A4-C63F-4F3A-AFAA-CD16ED32165F.jpeg

Bird-of-the-day to the Cassia Crossbill and runner-up to the Golden Eagle. Stay tuned, tomorrow is my last day in Idaho and three days later I arrive in New York to start college!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 953 Species (1 life bird today: Cassia Crossbill)

Posted by skwclar 20:36 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 19: Horseback

Galena Lodge, ID

rain 73 °F

Today my mom, Pearl, and I went horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains of Idaho! Despite being a smidge rainy, it was awesome!

Before riding, the day started off with a RED-TAILED HAWK:
large_E07FA5D8-E65F-4685-8C6A-BEC6F95E9FE7.jpeg

As well as this male CASSIN’S FINCH:
large_34470515-6E6B-4FD6-B125-B6158148BF63.jpeglarge_555C2620-EC68-4717-96C1-794D812FE82D.jpeglarge_B1DD226E-1F9E-433A-BD3B-7B0EC2F70BAB.jpeglarge_5847626A-58F9-47A8-B10A-F1188B83121C.jpeglarge_E87D8306-03F9-4AA1-8823-A44786F2CA64.jpeglarge_73AA31DB-C6D9-4955-ACBE-4D3A5DC581F2.jpeg

Then we got on our horses! Pearl had a horse named Dudley, and I had a horse named Twister.
large_F3A6B730-FF3B-4A98-9A80-9809084C95D0.jpeg

The ride was gorgeous!
large_4F6E05B4-E016-4EB8-8D28-FEE5CCCAEBFE.jpeg

And we had a blast!
large_B9858CF4-CAC9-479C-88B2-B2988F040B3C.jpeglarge_AE7AFF8B-CDAD-4463-AC20-D38556602744.jpeg

Bird-of-the-day to the Cassin’s Finch!

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List: 952 Species

Posted by skwclar 14:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 18: Birding with Kathleen!

Central Idaho

overcast 80 °F

Today, as you can tell, I had a wonderful day of delightful birding with my friend Kathleen C! Huge thanks to her for driving me about 250 miles in total today (!!!!!)

Starting the day off on Cottonwoods Road which leads to the Magic Reservoir, we spotted this far-away flock which we couldnt identify at the moment but what now are obviously WHITE-FACED IBIS. What a unique shape!
large_868141AF-942E-4EF2-BDEE-3C2108422C81.jpeg

TURKEY VULTURE waking up in the morning sun:
large_76896B41-4653-4E6F-9E3B-F5C96DD0D7F0.jpeg

This AMERICAN ROBIN posed with two SAGE THRASHERS, a common specialty of the sagebrush desert here in central Idaho!
large_0F360BB8-D133-4A05-856F-A8F9A3F9685A.jpeg

COMMON NIGHTHAWK, we saw many of these both flying and roosting today:
large_32D16379-FDB8-4A4A-A686-CF2EB35E14C5.jpeg

AMERICAN KESTREL, one of over one hundred we found!
large_E39761D7-D646-41FD-8453-968AC791C293.jpeg

Then, our first birding surprise of the day came when Kathleen spotted this NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, an unexpected/vagrant species for this for north! Far out!
large_611DC7AA-F7AC-410A-92E7-25E0D1309860.jpeg

Female BELTED KINGFISHER hunting below the Richfield Diversion Dam:
large_2A7BA71E-FC10-4B28-BEFE-F43BF1460883.jpeg

Off she goes:
large_C86CF1ED-39B8-4B66-95FF-D64358E5FA85.jpeg

CEDAR WAXWING:
large_B68B1198-4995-4803-8729-1F814D406B91.jpeg

LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE is always a nice treat to see here in the desert:
large_A7713B13-434D-4325-8CED-6E7F9C7BA2CD.jpeg

Finally, we arrived at the Magic Reservoir and though water levels were higher than in the past, we were able to soak up a few species including this LESSER YELLOWLEGS:
large_6B06ACBF-48A4-4941-8884-8C8859145114.jpeg

LEAST SANDPIPER:
large_B02EFA25-A592-427B-8A8C-B9333F48C163.jpeg

Extremely-shaggy GREAT BLUE HERON:
large_FEEE608C-AF15-43DC-931E-8CA95117424E.jpeg

Then, all of the sudden, Kathleen spotted a raptor sitting on a far away telephone pole. Upon realizing it was a PRAIRIE FALCON, we drove over fast so I could obtain this photo of this LIFE BIRD! The first new species I’ve had since Italy, very cool, and long overdue!!
large_993CE9DA-079D-4C17-A16E-2631B6CF7BDF.jpeg

WESTERN KINGBIRD:
large_FB467926-DDD2-4281-A820-CE2C3454A175.jpeg

SAY’S PHOEBE:
large_148A5A32-FB85-4ACA-88EA-DB8DBCD59354.jpeg

CLARK’S GREBE — notice that the eye is separate from its black cap:
large_9DE37E8A-42CD-409D-A0C8-57B95A40F51C.jpeg

Transitional-plumage EARED GREBE:
large_5082E024-9B3E-4C0B-A37B-E01B4823418C.jpeg

OSPREY with lunch:
large_DDC3C484-9B14-43DB-9EF2-E0D015030621.jpeg

BREWER’S SPARROW:
large_0331D5D4-CD40-40E5-A794-5C9BC6B5BCB3.jpeg

SAVANNAH SPARROW, beautiful looks at this guy:
large_D851CB69-3350-4ABD-BF9D-13897C0A1DC1.jpeg

Then, all at once, a flock of AMERICAN COOTS (as well as other waterfowl) took off. Maybe they saw the falcon?!
large_A362266C-0680-4670-AA24-865F59308061.jpeg

GREATER YELLOWLEGS:
large_2BDB94D4-40B4-44FD-83C8-0EF1363DC4FD.jpeg

Along the desert road west of Fairfield, we spotted this Antelope:
large_AA654DF1-898B-4063-B3F6-86F28FB58567.jpeg

HORNED LARK:
large_4CDCF113-B6DF-486F-97E6-4B77BEDEEBD6.jpeg

Our next stop was drive-through of Camas Prairie, where to our surprise we found this rare and beautiful FERRUGINOUS HAWK! This is the largest and one of the palest hawks in America, and was a complete surprise to us considering they are a declining species.
large_8F24C87A-FF0A-4337-9BF8-718D704019B3.jpeg

CINNAMON TEAL in one of the few remaining water pockets there — dry season takes its toll on Idaho:
large_D8897502-9157-455F-B320-EBDAA1979DFC.jpeg

The next stop was the countryside near Andersonville a Reservoir to search mainly for White-headed Woodpeckers which call the Ponderosa Pine forests there their home. Inside the actual reservoir we saw these AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS:
large_31F008AF-1761-4F00-A31B-360215515149.jpeg

WESTERN GREBE, notice the eyes are within its black cap:
large_67C9EBE9-9EBC-430A-8668-D81C37345FA9.jpeg

LEWIS’ WOODPECKER in a woodland savanna:
large_EE35B741-ECF4-4B27-B1CC-49D2CBCB56A6.jpeg

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD — in this area, we checked for their counterpart the Western but failed to find any.
large_57190BCC-C4EF-4603-8591-02DD0362BEED.jpeg

Immature BALD EAGLE:
large_4757D242-B97B-494B-9851-CCBB1CC43FA7.jpeg

Female LAZULI BUNTING:
large_5409CE75-2AD2-4E38-A79E-20E80824F3FA.jpeg

Far-off female RED CROSSBILL, Kathleen and I were overjoyed to find this secondary target bird!
large_6232FCA9-E6D1-437B-AE2A-4F780A15091A.jpeg

Although we failed to find the White-headed Woodpecker, the other species found served as decent consolation prizes. After a long drive back, we were birding by car in Rock Creek Ranch where plenty was to be seen including this BARN SWALLOW:
large_5EA59F60-65E3-4C8F-A3BF-58566933993A.jpeg

LARK SPARROW:
large_BF915817-2AC6-4B5A-9DA1-C7839FCA7861.jpeg

Beautiful CALIFORNIA QUAIL in “Golden Hour:”
large_49A7FC8B-0CA0-4A8D-AAE1-9D08AACDED93.jpeg

Molting/immature type male HOUSE FINCH:
large_25C8956C-579E-43C1-99FD-AE2DAFAE9F50.jpeg

When we arrived at our last stop, the Draper Preserve in Hailey, it was absolutely loaded with birds! WARBLING VIREOS like this were common:
large_D336C9B9-7FE2-4C71-999C-3E04A0893833.jpeg

And this RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER was a cool surprise too:
large_AE823BA2-2175-4A18-92C0-0AE3D318900A.jpeg

A fantastic, fantastic day! Big thanks again to Kathleen :)
large_EE4FE762-7175-4F3E-8084-1ABD5AFFB9E1.jpeg

Bird-of- the-day to the PRAIRIE FALCON, my first life bird in quite a while! Full list is attached below!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 952 Species (1 life bird today: Prairie Falcon)

1. Canada Goose
2. Cinnamon Teal
3. Mallard
4. Common Merganser
5. California Quail
6. Eared Grebe
7. Western Grebe
8. Clark’s Grebe
9. American White Pelican
10. Double-crested Cormorant
11. Great Blue Heron
12. White-faced Ibis
13. Turkey Vulture
14. Osprey
15. Bald Eagle
16. Northern Harrier
17. Swainson’s Hawk
18. Red-tailed Hawk
19. Ferruginous Hawk
20. American Kestrel
21. PRAIRIE FALCON
22. Virginia Rail
23. Sora
24. American Coot
25. Killdeer
26. Least Sandpiper
27. Wilson’s Snipe
28. Spotted Sandpiper
29. Lesser Yellowlegs
30. Greater Yellowlegs
31. Ring-billed Gull
32. Rock Pigeon
33. Eurasian Collared-Dove
34. Mourning Dove
35. Common Nighthawk
36. Black-chinned Hummingbird
37. Belted Kingfisher
38. Lewis’ Woodpecker
39. Red-naped Sapsucker
40. Downy Woodpecker
41. Hairy Woodpecker
42. Northern Flicker
43. Western Wood-Pewee
44. Willow Flycatcher
45. Say’s Phoebe
46. Western Kingbird
47. Eastern Kingbird
48. Loggerhead Shrike
49. Cassin’s Vireo
50. Blue-headed Vireo
51. Clark’s Nutcracker
52. Black-billed Magpie
53. American Crow
54. Common Raven
55. Horned Lark
56. Tree Swallow
57. Violet-green Swallow
58. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
59. Barn Swallow
60. Black-capped Chickadee
61. Red-breasted Nuthatch
62. Brown Creeper
63. House Wren
64. Mountain Bluebird
65. American Robin
66. Gray Catbird
67. Sage Thrasher
68. NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD
69. European Starling
70. Cedar Waxwing
71. Yellow Warbler
72. Western Tanager
73. Black-headed Grosbeak
74. Lazuli Bunting
75. Western Meadowlark
76. Red-winged Blackbird
77. Brewer’s Blackbird
78. House Sparrow
79. House Finch
80. Cassin’s Finch
81. RED CROSSBILL
82. Pine Siskin
83. American Goldfinch
84. Spotted Towhee
85. Chipping Sparrow
86. Brewer’s Sparrow
87. Vesper Sparrow
88. Lark Sparrow
89. Savannah Sparrow
90. Song Sparrow

Posted by skwclar 22:58 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Day 17: Bald Mountain

Ketchum, ID

sunny 88 °F

Today I rode the gondola up Bald Mountain right next to Sun Valley and I birded my may down!

A bit of birding at the base before the gondola ride up yielded this male YELLOW WARBLER:
large_B674FE4B-B627-4870-828F-5F19E6C88954.jpeg

And this cool female BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK:
large_61F3CCF6-E4EC-400B-9C1F-7AB66B073CE0.jpeg

The hike down the mountain was beautiful.
large_E5995502-FA14-44D0-8937-09903D4103E4.jpeg

Once I saw this MACGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER, I knew it would be a great day!
large_D4959741-22F4-4490-8F52-C1F4DE71A752.jpeglarge_D693D274-8D2F-4BE7-A4EC-97B159179267.jpeglarge_82D22489-D18C-401D-A8F4-C05A5197F652.jpeg

Having trouble identifying this falcon. Ideas?
large_3CC69B07-56A2-4DF2-83E8-66FE87FEB947.jpeg

This VESPER SPARROW was a cool find:
large_ECCFF614-C83C-4874-BCCE-BB8B1F4FD5C9.jpeg

Finally, I found this OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER which was a species I had been searching for!
large_662A6218-E4A6-4AFD-997A-AC03D989EF44.jpeg

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET:
large_49FCF4A9-22B6-4772-87C9-1839304A7020.jpeg

Male HAIRY WOODPECKER:
large_48505EEE-A512-4144-B0A7-3CCCD2381B13.jpeg

What is this sparrow? A juvenile? I obviously had some tough identification times today. Hah!
large_8F2FA4E8-E856-4930-9C1B-9B2474504177.jpeg

BROWN CREEPER:
large_5F5D8F9D-182A-4F9D-B312-AC3BD49CA52E.jpeg

Suddenly, a bright yellow light glimmered into the forest in front of me and I found this TOWNSEND’S WARBLER for the third year on Bald Mountain!
large_AB9566E5-CE61-4ED9-A54F-19D568522401.jpeg

DUSKY FLYCATCHER:
large_7D57FE98-A191-4E5A-8F65-95DBA342E9A8.jpeg

Then, I saw a huge crow-like bird and it turned out to be an amazing PILEATED WOODPECKER! I love this bird!
large_55FCB5CB-2D1A-4CFC-AC1B-518A3B57BD57.jpeg

WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE:
large_9CA74D23-9050-46CF-BAEC-44BDD7E8BD81.jpeg

STELLER’S JAY:
large_5DB7C800-FD81-4E16-9415-3AC36F5AACC7.jpeg

CASSIN’S VIREO, another seldom-seen species!
large_505AFCF2-AD14-42E8-813B-C44FB3D6CB6F.jpeg

Fawn Mule Deer:
large_148F2766-044D-48E8-ACE9-6E9159938CBD.jpeg

And my bird-of-the-day was this WILLIAMSON’S SAPSUCKER, another rare mountain species found on Baldy! Runners-up to the Townsend’s Warbler & Pileated Woodpecker. Five hours of fairly strenuous downhill hiking paid off! Boy do my knees feel it...
large_EE5C47CF-B0CA-440C-8129-20562E3ACE6A.jpeglarge_99E4E877-463D-43FA-9D51-6A8700F9D793.jpeg

Stay tuned, tomorrow I will be birding with my friend Kathleen south of the Wood River Valley! Good stuff!

And as always good birding-

Henry
World Life List: 951 Species

Posted by skwclar 16:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 11) Page [1] 2 3 » Next