Monday, June 13, 2005

birding trips galore

Since we got the blog up we have been so busy out and about birding that we haven't had time to even sit at the computer to log on and share our adventures. lol We have been to Corn Creek at Desert National Wildlife Range (twice), Red Rock Canyon conservation (twice), Henderson Bird Perserve (once) and to Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge (twice).

We have seen an amazing amount of different species in each of these places. One of the trips to Corn Creek we took with a ranger from Red Rock and had a fabulous day seeing new birds such as Great Blue Heron and Greater Roadrunner. We got yet another chance to see the long-eared owls which are always amazing. We took to calling this trip the Phainopepla trip since that seemed to be the bird of the day. Everytime we looked there they were.

During our Red Rock trips I was lucky enough to finally see a loggerheaded shrike. Josh and his dad had already seen one at an earlier Corn Creek visit. We saw a momma chukar with her babies both times we went out to Red Rock. What a sight it is to see these little ones. We saw a Scott's Oriole during one of these trips and what an amazing bird! On our second trip we saw numerous scrub jays with their beautiful blue! We also spotted a few spotted towhees.

Josh and Steve took the first trip out to Pahranagat by themselves. They saw 33 species that day including: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Canada Goose, 2 Ladder-backed woodpeckers, 2 lesser goldfinches, turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks. They also saw MANY red-winged blackbirds and yellow-headed blackbirds at the middle marsh.

We took the second trip out to Pahranagat yesterday and I was amazed at this beautiful place. Such a lake in the middle of the desert! I was amazed at the Great Blue Heron and the Great Egret. We actually got to see the Great Blue Heron snatch a fish out of the water as he was wading in the marshy area. We saw a Bullock's Oriole and I can't begin to describe the beauty of its coloring. The same could be said of the yellow-headed blackbird. WOW! We saw more turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks. What wonders in flight they are. We saw a western grebe, very cool! And Josh had the id of the day which he had to do much convincing of his dad and I. We saw a canvas back momma with her brood. Josh said right away that this was the species and Steve and I made him keep checking details etc until he was able to convince us. lol We all added new birds to our list when we saw a California Gull and a Forster's Tern. We went to the middle marsh again and Steve and Josh were amazed at how much the marsh had dried out in just a week. Doesn't take long in this desert heat. Kildeer had moved in this time and we saw a momma with a little one. Here's a species list for the day:

common raven
turkey vultures (14)
great blue heron (4)
great egret
yellow warbler
marsh wren (2)
western grebe (2)
canada goose ( flock)
bullock's oriole (2)
western kingbird (too many to count)
forster's tern
american coot (abundant)
american avocet
yellow-headed blackbird (5)
red-winged blackbird (6)
ruddy duck female
yellow warbler (6)
mallard (4)
california gull
common yellowthroat (5)
red-tailed hawk (7)
mourning dove (way too many to count)
american kestrel
great-tailed grackle (3)
black phoebe (3)
canvas back (female with 6 ducklings)
redhead
kildeer
violet-green swallow
white-throated swift

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