A Travellerspoint blog

Days 6-7: Taylor Canyon

Sawtooth National Forest, ID

semi-overcast 74 °F

Today my family and I went on a hike to Taylor Canyon east of the Wood River Valley. It was stunning!

Here is Pearl and mom in front of a horse we found on the way there. It is Pearl’s “gotcha day,” the celebration of when my parents first met her in China!
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We also found this Mule Deer along the way:
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Today’s hike featured a beautiful display of wildflowers and butterflies, some of which are displayed below:
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Birds were also prevalent, including this female WESTERN TANAGER:
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Here’s the male:
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BREWER’S SPARROW, nice!
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Empidonax sp. flycatcher:
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Male YELLOW-RUMPED “Audubon’s” WARBLER:
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VESPER SPARROW:
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WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE:
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CLARK’S NUTCRACKER, a great high-elevation species:
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Bye bye!
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Bird-of-the-day to the Clark’s Nutcracker with runner-up to the Brewer’s Sparrow. Stay tuned!

Henry
World Life List: 951 Species

Posted by skwclar 17:44 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Days 4-5: Birding in the Neighborhood

Ketchum, ID

semi-overcast 88 °F

This morning I went birding before camp and found some good things along the road!

Male LAZULI BUNTING:
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Here he is with a female YELLOW WARBLER:
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And here is the male warbler:
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GRAY CATBIRD:
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WILLOW FLYCATCHER:
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STELLER’S JAY:
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Good birding and stay tuned!
Henry
World Life List: 951 Species

Posted by skwclar 13:07 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Day 3: More Bald Mt Birding

Ketchum, ID

semi-overcast 88 °F

This morning before I camp I birded part of the way up Bald Mountain here in Ketchum, Idaho again. It was rather slow but a few things were found-

Cool colorful moth which had been attacked by a chickadee:
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Mule Deer:
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Molting YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER:
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BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE:
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Fawn Mule Deer which burst out of the shrubs along the trail, giving me quite a fright!
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Believe it or not, this is the rump of a HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER:
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And my best find today, this pretty male CASSIN’S FINCH, my bird of the day.
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Good birding and stay tuned!
Henry
World Life List: 951 Species

Posted by skwclar 21:57 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Days 1-2: Idaho!

semi-overcast 88 °F

Yesterday, my family and I flew out of Chicago for our annual trip to Sun Valley, Idaho! My mom plays in the Sun Valley Summer Symphony out here and for these two weeks I will enjoy a music camp affiliated with the symphony, and then a bit more than a week of birding and hiking. Though I am in music camp for a while, like in Italy, I will be able to go birding intermittently and I will post on here.

Birding today before camp yielded a few nice species, including this juvenile VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW:
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CASSIN’S FINCH:
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Mule Deer:
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Ground squirrel of some sort in the morning sun:
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And my bird-of-the-day, a great, uncommon species called a WILLIAMSON’S SAPSUCKER! This is a juvenile type.
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Good birding!
Henry
World Life List: 951 Species

Posted by skwclar 18:38 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Cook County Birding Slam!

sunny 85 °F

Yesterday, I guided two birders: Fernando, from Spain, who is about my age, and John, from England. We had a BLAST and found some great, great birds — despite it being in a typically-quiet part of the summer in Chicago. As I write this, I am enjoying my first evening here in Sun Valley Idaho and will soon start posting about the birding from this trip!

Once again, we started the day by birding at Bartel Grassland in the south part of the county — I was hoping to get a photo of the Bobwhite briefly seen tuesday. We started with a DICKCISSEL:
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Male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH:
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Male EASTERN MEADOWLARK:
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Female BOBOLINK:
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Male FIELD SPARROW:
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Then, we found a more uncommon sparrow — a HENSLOW’S:
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Finally, we found this NORTHERN BOBWHITE I had seen only briefly on tuesday, our goal for the Bartel Grassland segment:
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Next, we visited Big Marsh in the Calumet area in search of Least Bittern and COMMON GALLINULE, of which we immediately found several sets of families! Amazing given this is a pretty rare Illinois breeding bird.
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WILLOW FLYCATCHER:
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Adult BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON:
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Juvenile, to compare:
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Female YELLOW WARBLER:
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Immature GREAT BLUE HERON:
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Painted Turtles sunning:
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Fernando was particularly impressed by this tree which was felled by an American Beaver:
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Suddenly, Fernando spotted this rare LEAST BITTERN (!!!!!!) which came up onto a cattail for AMAZING LOOKS! Absolutely incredible for this shy, diminutive, and rare species.
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Along the way to the next stop, we spotted this immature RED-TAILED HAWK:
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A BELL’S VIREO and GRASSHOPPER SPARROW entertained us with their songs at Steelworkers Park, which were added bonuses.

Next was Montrose Point where we scored an amazing KING RAIL which unfortunately scuttled away before I could obtain any photos, but still awesome! Scoring amazing birds!

After picking up my girlfriend, we went to Skokie Lagoons Forest Preserve in hopes of a Prothonotary Warbler, which unfortunately was our only big miss of the day. EASTERN WOOD-PEWEEE:
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Fernando ran onto this dangerous looking log at one point which was quite entertaining! I would’ve fallen in!
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What a day! Bird-of-the-day to the Least Bittern with runners-up to the Northern Bobwhite, Common Gallinule, Bell’s Vireo, and King Rail! GREAT!

Bonus bird: Fernando corrected a misidentification I made in Italy, and it turns out I have another life bird: a Melodious Warbler! I had previously misidentified it as a Wood Warbler, which is a lookalike.

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 951 Species (1 life bird from Italy: Melodious Warbler)

Posted by skwclar 19:20 Archived in USA Comments (3)

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