Sunday, June 1, 2014

One more trip for the Snowy Plover at Mountain Home Reservoir

After seeing the Snowy Plover at Mountain Home reservoir on a dark, cloudy day, we went back a few days later when the weather was a little nicer in hopes of getting better pictures. At the time we got there, the sun was in the wrong position in the sky so most of the birds ended up backlit, so the pictures weren’t much better, but there were still good numbers of shorebirds, including a few species that weren’t there on our first trip.

One of our first new finds was several Dunlin. They were awfully fidgety, so it was hard to keep track of them for pictures.

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Dunlin at Mountain Home Reservoir, Elmore County. April 28, 2014.

Most of the birds on the reservoir seemed awfully agitated, and after we saw a shadow sweep across the water we looked up and saw the reason for their concern: a Red-tailed Hawk soaring above the reservoir.

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Red-tailed Hawk at Mountain Home Reservoir, Elmore County. April 28, 2014.

After one too many close passes a large flock of mixed shorebirds lifted off and circled around the reservoir. The flock was composed primarily of Marbled Godwits, but American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Dunlins, Least Sandpipers, and a few blackbirds were mixed in as well.

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Mixed shorebirds (mostly Marbled Godwits) in flight over Mountain Home Reservoir, Elmore County. April 28, 2014.

The Marbled Godwits were our first-of-year, and it was nice to get several opportunities for a nice view, especially for such a large group.

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Marbled Godwits at Mountain Home Reservoir, Elmore County. April 28, 2014.

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Marbled Godwits at Mountain Home Reservoir, Elmore County. April 28, 2014.

Of course the trip wouldn’t be complete without one more attempt at photographing the Snowy Plover. The backlighting didn’t do us any favors, but at least the bird didn’t seem to mind our presence and allowed for a fairly close approach.

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Snowy Plover at Mountain Home Reservoir, Elmore County. April 28, 2014.

There were a few waterfowl out on the reservoir, but most were quite skiddish due to our presence. This Eared Grebe didn’t seem to mind us though.

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Eared Grebe at Mountain Home Reservoir, Elmore County. April 28, 2014.

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