Thursday, May 14, 2009

Harper County...well, mostly just the Laverne area

Well another good day of marshbird surveys. I spent the entire day in and around Laverne. Many of the playas north of town are full, including the large Gate playa that sits along the Harper/Beaver County line. In all I had 78 species for the day. The morning marshbird survey turned up 4 each Sora and Virginia Rail. Some other birds that came along the way included 36 Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and a drake and hen Cinammon Teal. For the first time in three years at this site I was unable to locate any American Bitterns, very surprising and a little dissapointing. After completing the surveys in the morning I checked a few of the local playas. They are full of water, however the shorebirds were a little slim and I was only able to pick up ten species, including 10 White-faced Ibis, and a few American Avocets. Three Black Tern were a first of year for me, and one of the better birds of the day.Cinammon Teal, 14-May-2009,

The evening was spent surving for marshbirds yet again. I located three more Virginia Rail, still no American Bittern. For some reason there are far more Green Heron present this year. So it makes me wonder wether or not the usual locations that I find the bitterns may either be to deep or the vegetation just isn't dense enough, not sure...The best bird of the day was a single male Bobolink. This was a new state bird for me, I always manage to miss them at the Red Slough. Didn't miss him this time, although when I went for my camera it headed for cover. Still exciting though! Not a bad day at all, and tomorrow morning 0530 sharp I'll be chasing Black Rails.

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