A Travellerspoint blog

Eastern Idaho with Kathleen Cameron!

all seasons in one day 80 °F

On Monday I went on a fantastic all-day birding trip by car with Kathleen Cameron. She is a great friend and an amazing guide - she even has her own travel birding company called Majestic Feathers which you HAVE to check out at http://www.majesticfeathers.com

SAGE THRASHER:
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Male RUDDY DUCK:
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SORA:
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NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, a year bird for Kathleen:
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WILSON'S SNIPE:
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SAGEBRUSH SPARROW, a life bird for me!!!
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GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE, a really unexpected year bird for both of us at a pond in Roberts, Idaho!
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Male LESSER SCAUP with a MALLARD:
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Male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, a year bird!
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REDHEAD family:
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Stunning TRUMPETER SWAN family:
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Then we had a breathtaking photoshoot with two wonderfully-cooperative AMERICAN BITTERNS at Camas Wildlife Refuge:
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SANDHILL CRANE:
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GLOSSY IBIS, year bird!
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SNOWY EGRETS, a USA life bird for me since I have only ever seen these in Central America before!
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GREAT BLUE HERON flyby:
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AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS with MALLARDS:
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Female NORTHERN HARRIER:
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Female BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD:
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WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE:
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GREAT HORNED OWL:
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FERRUGINOUS HAWK, year bird and the largest hawk in the US:
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We looked for Burrowing Owls here but only found their burrows:
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COMMON NIGHTHAWK:
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LESSER SCAUP:
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EARED GREBE, life bird!
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Juvenile PIED-BILLED GREBE:
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Male LAZULI BUNTING:
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Male BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD:
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WARBLING VIREO:
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Juvenile SPOTTED TOWHEE, year bird!
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Moose!
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Ended the day with a nice look at this VIRGINIA RAIL, a seldom-seen species!
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Bird-of-the-day goes to the Sagebrush Sparrow with runners-up to the Eared Grebe and the American Bittern.

What a great day! A BIG thank you to Kathleen for driving for 14+ hours and birding with me! The full day list is attached below.

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 931 Species (2 life birds Monday: Sagebrush Sparrow & Eared Grebe)

81 species (LB indicates life bird):

1. Canada Goose
2. Trumpeter Swan
3. Gadwall
4. Mallard
5. Northern Shoveler
6. Northern Pintail
7. Redhead
8. Lesser Scaup
9. Ruddy Duck
10. California Quail
11. Ring-necked Pheasant
12. Pied-billed Grebe
13. Eared Grebe (LB)
14. American White Pelican
15. American Bittern
16. Great Blue Heron
17. Snowy Egret
18. White-faced Ibis
19. Osprey
20. Northern Harrier
21. Swainson's Hawk
22. Red-tailed Hawk
23. Ferruginous Hawk
24. Golden Eagle
25. American Kestrel
26. Virginia Rail
27. Sora
28. American Coot
29. Sandhill Crane
30. Killdeer
31. Black-necked Stilt
32. Wilson's Snipe
33. Ring-billed Gull
34. Rock Pigeon
35. Eurasian Collared-Dove
36. Mourning Dove
37. Great Horned Owl
38. Common Nighthawk
39. Black-chinned Hummingbird
40. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
41. Rufous Hummingbird
42. Western Wood-Pewee
43. Willow Flycatcher
44. Western Kingbird
45. Eastern Kingbird
46. Loggerhead Shrike
47. Warbling Vireo
48. Clark's Nutcracker
49. Black-billed Magpie
50. American Crow
51. Common Raven
52. Violet-green Swallow
53. Bank Swallow
54. Barn Swallow
55. Black-capped Chickadee
56. Red-breasted Nuthatch
57. Rock Wren
58. House Wren
59. Marsh Wren
60. American Robin
61. Gray Catbird
62. Sage Thrasher
63. European Starling
64. Cedar Waxwing
65. Northern Waterthrush
66. Yellow Warbler
67. Yellow-breasted Chat
68. Spotted Towhee
69. Vesper Sparrow
70. Sagebrush Sparrow (LB)
71. Song Sparrow
72. Western Tanager
73. Lazuli Bunting
74. Red-winged Blackbird
75. Western Meadowlark
76. Yellow-headed Blackbird
77. Brewer's Blackbird
78. Great-tailed Grackle
79. House Sparrow
80. Pine Siskin
81. American Goldfinch

Posted by skwclar 08:39 Archived in USA Tagged majesticfeathers Comments (1)

My 8th Idaho Trip Begins!

all seasons in one day 88 °F

Ah, I am finally caught up with blog posts!

Now, I have started a two-week music camp called "The Encounter" which culminates in choral and operatic performances in conjunction with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in which my parents play here in Idaho.

The flight here by myself was nice:
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And I'm having a blast!!! Soooo much fun! All smiles here!
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After camp, I have ten days of birding, hiking, and enjoying nature here in the Sun Valley area - so stay tuned! This camp is quite busy, though, so I might not post until after camp. :)

Good birding!

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 21:36 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Italy Tour Wrap-Up

all seasons in one day 101 °F

What a fantastic trip! I just returned from a 10-day tour of Italy with the Voice of Chicago ensemble of the Chicago Children's Choir. We had many stellar performances, intercultural exchanges, and life-changing moments. Here are some of the highlights through my photographs:

First lunch in Italy!
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Touring Modena, Italy:
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Meeting an Italian immigrant, Abrahim, from Nigeria:
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Visiting Dante Allegri's tomb:
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Meeting new friends from the Cometa school was made easy through my knowledge of two years of Italian language:
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Amazing boat tour of Lago Como!
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Cathedral in Bologna:
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Evening photoshoot!
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The Voice of Chicago bass section!
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On our last full day in the country, we performed at the Ravello Festival which is located on the side of a huge mountain cliff overlooking the breathtaking scenery of the Amalfi Coast. It was truly the most magical location at which I have ever performed.

So although it did have its ups and downs, it was overall an enjoyable tour! You can't beat traveling with the Chicago Children's Choir!

Good birding!

Henry Griffin
World Life List: 929 Species (no life birds)

Posted by skwclar 21:27 Archived in Italy Comments (2)

Rail Royalty

all seasons in one day

On July 2, I birded Bartel Grassland Forest Preserve with my good buddy Jonathan Bontrager from Indiana in hopes of finding a rare species called a King Rail, a bird that would be a life bird for him!

EASTERN MEADOWLARK singing:
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And after a bit of walking and sweating in the sun, we found our bird!!!!!
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A VIRGINIA RAIL was also present:
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As well as Rail chicks, of which we're unsure as to the species. King or Virginia? Any thoughts?
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This Beaver was also nice, a "life mammal" for me!
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Bird-of-the-day goes to the adult King Rail, an awesome find for Illinois!

Also a quick note - due to my departure from IBET, migration reports will not be posted there in the future, but instead onto my migration blog (which you can subscribe to receive the reports in emails):
ilmigration.blogspot.com

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (latest life bird as of 6-8-17: Least Bittern)

Posted by skwclar 21:25 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Prairie Warbler in the Prairie State!

all seasons in one day 85 °F

June 8:

I birded with Carolyn S at Illinois Beach State Park in hopes for finding my life-bird LEAST BITTERN, an elusive tiny species of heron.

Right near the parking lot for the Dead River Trail, we found this male SUMMER TANAGER:

NORTHERN FLICKER:

We walked up onto an observation deck above a marsh and BOOM! My life bird LEAST BITTERN popped out of the marsh and then immediately back down, not to be seen again. Life bird, and one that's eluded me for years!!

TREE SWALLOW:

RED-HEADED WOODPECKER:

GRAY CATBIRD:

Male ORCHARD ORIOLE:

EASTERN KINGBIRD:

Male BALTIMORE ORIOLE at his nest:

YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO:

Presumed Blue Grosbeak X Indigo Bunting hybrid:

My visual life bird YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, a species I have only heard, and not seen, before!

Bird-of-the-day for June 8 is a tie between the Least Bittern and the Yellow-breasted Chat.

June 20:

Led a bird walk for the Junior Naturalists Camp at Dominican University into Thatcher Woods which turned out to be lots of fun!

Fawn White-tailed Deer:

The best bird was this female HOODED MERGANSER in the Des Plaines River:

Red-eared Slider and Painted Turtle:

Bird-of-the-day for June 20 is the Hooded Merganser.

June 25:

I birded the Palos Preserves with my Uncle Mory. Our first stop was Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center where our target bird was a male Prairie Warbler that had been seen there, which would be my first sighting of that bird in the country.

Male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK:
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Male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD:
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And we found it! The PRAIRIE WARBLER gave some phenomenal views!
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Then, it was off to Swallow Cliff Forest Preserve where we had this female PILEATED WOODPECKER:
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And this male ACADIAN FLYCATCHER:
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Bird-of-the-day for June 25 goes to the Prairie Warbler! It was a great month of breeding bird season birding.

Good birding,
Henry

Posted by skwclar 21:16 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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