Saturday, June 29, 2013

Indian Creek Reservoir, Foote Park, and more

The transition from April to May is a great time to be a birder. There are more birds in more places, and rarer birds closer to home, which makes it almost impossible to plan a bad weekend. The first Saturday in May we focused on a few Ada County hotspots, including Indian Creek Reservoir, Foote Park, Discovery State Park, and Pierce Park.

During our first stop at Indian Creek Reservoir we spotted, among many others, a resting Black-necked Stilt, and a Solitary Sandpiper.

BNST 1

Black-necked Stilt at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

SOSP 1

Solitary Sandpiper at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

We didn’t spend long at Indian Creek. Since Indian Creek was having such high turnover this spring, we were checking it two to three times a week at points, so when we arrived this day and found most of the same birds we’d been seeing for the past several trips, we hustled along to the next destination.

We spent the bulk of the day in Foote Park. Foote Park is one of the best passerine migrant traps on this side of the state, and lucky for us it’s just a short 5 minute drive from our home in Columbia Village. When we first started birding a few years ago, we heard of a lot of great finds at Foote Park, and always wished we could get in on the action. Unfortunately we didn’t realize for a long time that there was more to Foote Park than just a couple of parking spots and a bathroom. There’s actually a trail that follows a little ravine upslope that goes through a good mix of sage, willows, cottonwoods, and other plants that provide a great stop for migrants passing through.

Foote Park Map

Foote Park birding trail, Ada County.

Foote Park 1

Birding in Foote Park, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

We didn’t see anything too rare on this trip, though the Lazuli Bunting numbers were incredible, and we also had a few Nashville Warblers.

LAZB 1

Lazuli Bunting at Foote Park, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

NAWA 1

Nashville Warbler at Foote Park, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

As we headed out of the park we accidentally flushed a Great Horned Owl we didn’t realize was roosting right above the trail. We were thrilled to see one of these birds in such great light.

GHOW 1

Great Horned Owl at Foote Park, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

GHOW 2

Great Horned Owl at Foote Park, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

Our next stop was Discovery Unit of Lucky Peak State Park, which is just across the river from Foote Park. This is where we saw our lifer Black Rosy-Finch, along with Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches back in February. In the spring this place is reliable for Lewis’s Woodpecker. We found two on this stop, though we weren’t able to get great pictures.

LEWO 1

Lewis’s Woodpecker at Discovery Unit of Lucky Peak State Park, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

Although we only got poor photos of a great bird, we also got a great photo of a common bird, just to even things up.

BRBL 1

Brewer’s Blackbird at Discovery Unit of Lucky Peak State Park, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

Our last stop of the day was Pierce Park Road at Sage Glen Court, which is in the foothills north of Boise. This location can be good for a variety of spring migrants, and also has a massive Bank Swallow colony in one of the hillsides. A couple of years ago a Barn Owl nested in one of the larger holes. We haven’t seen one there this year, but the Bank Swallow colony is quite active.

BANS 1

Bank Swallows at Pierce Park Road, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

Bank Swallow colony at Pierce Park Road, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

We also saw Great Horned Owl nests in three different places on Pierce Park Road, one of them with a younger member of the family taking a look around.

GHOW 3

Great Horned Owl on Pierce Park Road, Ada County. May 4, 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment