April 3, 2009

Calm Before the Snowstorm

Today was a great day to be out-55 degrees and sunny. The beautiful weather here is often short lived this time of year as we transition from winter to summer. This latest round of warm and sunny weather is about to come to an end tomorrow as a huge blizzard is going to cover the area with 12+ inches of the white stuff. No this is not some late April Fools joke! I can't believe that we are going to have such a big snowstorm so late in the season. I hope the snow melts quickly!

Anyway, today I went out and did some birding with Paul R, a birding friend of mine through the hill country and saw some nice birds. The most interesting thing of the day were the three Loggerhead Shrikes we saw. We found one pair and then a bird all by itself. We also found a pair of Cooper's Hawks but we couldn't find a nest anywhere in the vicinity of where they were. We did confirm nesting for Belted Kingfisher however, because we saw one go into a hole in a dirt bank near the road. It was neat to see that. Year birds included Savannah Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Brewer's Blackbird, and Rusty Blackbird. I must not forget to add Harris's Sparrow for all those out of the Midwest.

We also got a few shorebirds in the Missouri River valley at the dairy farm ponds. Dunlin, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Baird's Sandpipers were the shorebirds that weren't Killdeer. There were lots of ducks as well but nothing to interesting. The wetlands in the area were full of ducks as well as some FOY American White Pelicans. Two Northern Harriers were also found.

Today was "the calm before the storm" and it was great to be out birding. I might need to get out and look for longspurs on the back roads in our area, so if I am insane enough to head out I will post about my finds then.

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