Sunday, January 1, 2012

1st Day of Birding for 2012

Went out twice, briefly, today to start the first of many wildlife watching lists. Had plenty of momentum from yesterday's Stevensville, MT Christmas Bird Count. Weather was good during a period of above normal temps. Recorded 50 species on Lee Metcalf NWR; highlights were Greater Scaup, Northern Shoveler, Trumpeter Swan and Wood Duck. Hardest 'get' was Wilson's Snipe, took until 3:34 pm to find on the fringes of a spring a mere 150 yards from the Refuge Headquarters:-). This morning stepped out on front porch and within 5 minutes recorded 5 species of birds (in order of sighting): Am. Crow, Bohemian Waxwing, Townsend's Solitaire, Raven, and House Finch.

Followed up the abbreviated birding foray with an afternoon field trip to Maclay Flat, USFS property along Bitterroot River in Missoula, MT. En route found a small flock of Cedar Waxwing in Mountain Ash along Blue Mountain Road which I video'd:


Maclay Flat was birdy at 32F and partly cloudy. Found all three nuthatch species within five minutes of leaving parking lot. This was followed up by an immature Cooper's Hawk chasing a Northern Flicker...not fast enough to catch this action or happy ending (woodpecker escape) on video :-). Last highlight of birding day started with Red Squirrel having pine seed dinner followed by Golden-crowned Kinglet descending to ground for late afternoon foraging:


Finished with 18 bird species for day; you surely can top that...go out and find something good!