March 22, 2009

From the Hills to the Valley

Today was muggy and warm (it got up to almost 70 degrees F). It was cloudy all day long but there were birds out despite that.
The most interesting thing that I observed was a flight of 20-30 hawks over my house within a 15 minute period. The lighting was terrible and I didn't get my scope out in time to i.d. them all. Most were Red-tailed Hawk although there were probable some others in with them. I saw a kettle of 12 birds moving over at one time. They came in quickly and left quickly, giving me limited time to view them.
Late in the afternoon my dad and I went out and explored the hills south of our house. There weren't many birds, but there were a few interesting ones. I found a group of 18 Ring-necked Ducks in one pond together as well as a Turkey Vulture. The first vulture I saw this year flew over my house the day before spring. Here is a shot I got of it as it headed north.

We didn't see much more on our jaunt in the hills. I did however find a Mourning Cloak butterfly at a county owned nature area which was a pleasant surprise. We decided to head out of the hills and go down to the Missouri River valley. We checked a couple dairy ponds to check for migrant shorebirds and waterfowl. We found four species of shorebirds at the ponds three of which were year birds: Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, and Pectoral Sandpiper. A nice array of waterfowl were also at the ponds including a few Common Mergansers as well as the more common waterfowl. Snow Geese are getting scarce now so seeing one at the ponds was a treat.When we got home we were greeted by our dogs and a nice springtime thunderstorm.

1 comment:

Hayley said...

Love the picture of Angel!