Friday, June 6, 2014

Odds and ends on the way home from Rexburg

After our sunrise trip for Greater Sage-Grouse and our pit stop at Market Lake WMA, we moved a little faster for the rest of our trip home to Boise from Rexburg on May 5. We cruised through several of our favorite birding hotspots along Highway 20, including Silver Creek, Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh, and Cat Creek Road. Here are a few highlights.

We had a flock of Brewer’s Blackbirds near the town of Picabo that seemed for a moment like it might have a Common Grackle mixed in. No such luck, though the Brewer’s sure sound similar.

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Brewer’s Blackbird at Picabo, Blaine County. May 5, 2014.

We spotted a Cinnamon Teal and a handful of Yellow-rumped Warblers as we sped through Silver Creek Preserve.

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Cinnamon Teal at Silver Creek Preserve, Blaine County. May 5, 2014.

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Yellow-rumped Warbler at Silver Creek Preserve, Blaine County. May 5, 2014.

There was plenty of water at Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh, though not a lot of time for birds.

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Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh, Camas County. May 5, 2014.

We did see a few though, including plenty of Wilson’s Phalaropes, several Lesser Yellowlegs, and a few Willets.

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Wilson’s Phalarope at Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh, Camas County. May 5, 2014.

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Lesser Yellowlegs at Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh, Camas County. May 5, 2014.

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Willet at Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh, Camas County. May 5, 2014.

There were quite a few Cliff Swallows taking a break from their nest-building activities. They’re usually busy gathering mud on the marsh and then rushing back to an old hay shed where they build their mud nests in the rafters.

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Cliff Swallows (and one Tree Swallow) at Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh, Camas County. May 5, 2014.

We also had one Long-billed Curlew on the way out, almost perfectly camouflaged against the dry grass.

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Long-billed Curlew at Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh, Camas County. May 5, 2014.

Woodpeckers were out in force along Cat Creek Road. We saw a Red-naped Sapsucker, a Hairy Woodpecker, and a Lewis’s Woodpecker all contending for the same nest hole at one point. I’m not sure which of them was doing the actual excavation, but all three were sure committed to claiming it.

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Red-naped Sapsucker at Cat Creek Road, Elmore County. May 5, 2014.

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Red-naped Sapsucker at Cat Creek Road, Elmore County. May 5, 2014.

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Hairy Woodpecker at Cat Creek Road, Elmore County. May 5, 2014.

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Lewis’s Woodpecker at Cat Creek Road, Elmore County. May 5, 2014.

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