Sunday, March 09, 2008

EEOB Birding on March 2, 2008

The fourth EEOB birding trip occurred on a weekend when the weather was in the 60's, and a week before the Blizzard of 2008. We went to The Wilds, and it was a glorious day for birding - blue skies, lovely temperature, lots of mud and melting snow, animals galore, and a wonderful selection of birds.

Our first stop yielded a nice herd of American Bison, silhouetted against the blue sky.

We also spotted our first raptors of the day - Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, Rough-legged Hawks, and American Kestrels were abundant throughout the day. We also spotted Short-eared Owls late in the afternoon.

Our first stop yielded Horned Larks as well - a life bird for me (as was the Rough-legged Hawk).

I've always been the driver when horned larks have been spotted in previous field trips, so I was really happy to be able to stop and get a good look at this couple.

We stopped at a nice overlook and had a wonderful show of rough-legged hawks. You could also see a variety of ungulates across the valley.

The raptors put on quite a show.

The spotting scopes were put to good use, and you can get a feel for the large turnout we had for the day - a four car caravan.

The Eastern Blue Birds are showing great color this time of year. We saw a pair along the fence line.

One of the deer species at the reserve.

Killdeers were all over the place, too.

We spotted owls at our last stop of the day.

A souvenir from the day - my van looked like it had traveled on very muddy roads. The rains washed it away the next day, so no worries on getting it off.

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