Tuesday, June 24, 2014

First-of-year Eastern Kingbird near Highland Valley Road

On May 19 we went for a walk along Highland Valley Road. This is the road that takes you from Highway 21 up to the top of Lucky Peak. There are usually good birds the whole way up, but one of our favorite areas to focus on is fairly close to Highway 21, where Highland Valley Road rides alongside a seasonal creek bed with nice riparian shrubby habitat.

Highland Valley Map

Map of our walk along Highland Valley Road, Ada County.

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Highland Valley Road, Ada County. May 18, 2014.

Western Kingbirds regularly breed along this road, and were out in force. We saw several noisy pairs, and it seemed like they were all making a point to assert their territorial boundaries.

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Western Kingbird along Highland Valley Road, Ada County. May 19, 2014.

Chipping Sparrows were present in good numbers, as they have been almost everywhere we’ve been lately.

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Chipping Sparrow along Highland Valley Road, Ada County. May 19, 2014.

There are lots of California Quails along the road as well. Occasionally you can find Chukars or Gray Partridges as well.

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California Quail along Highland Valley Road, Ada County. May 19, 2014.

At one point we were thinking out loud about how we were about due for our first-of-year Eastern Kingbird, and within 5 minutes we spotted one, perched far up on a hillside, and then it vanished over the next hill and we didn’t see it again on our walk. Though they’re by no means rare, it was fun to be the first to find one in southwest Idaho this season.

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Eastern Kingbird along Highland Valley Road, Ada County. May 19, 2014.

In total we had 23 species after our 2 hour, 2 mile walk. Others we were able to photograph included Black-headed Grosbeaks, and a Dusky Flycatcher.

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Black-headed Grosbeak along Highland Valley Road, Ada County. May 19, 2014.

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Dusky Flycatcher along Highland Valley Road, Ada County. May 19, 2014.

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