Thursday, June 19, 2014

Weeknight walk at Hulls Gulch

Continuing our efforts to get out more often for some kind of walk or hike on weeknights after work, we headed out to Hulls Gulch on May 14. The night before we got ourselves in a bad situation off trail after dark on the back side of Lucky Peak, so it was nice to follow that up with a little more tame experience.

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Ellen and Nora at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

Things were a little quieter than our last trip, though we actually had a little better diversity. We found 41 species this time, 2 more than the trip before. We kicked things off with a Black-chinned Hummingbird, using the same perch as the one we saw last time, so maybe it was the same bird, setting up a breeding territory.

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Black-chinned Hummingbird at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

We saw our Western Screech Owl again in its nest box back along the creek. Check out the goofy eyes its making in the first picture on the left. I think it was halfway through a blink as it was coming out of the nest box.

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Bridge and Creek near the Western Screech Owl nest box in Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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Western Screech Owl at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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Western Screech Owl at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

Black-headed Grosbeaks and Bullock’s Orioles, which we only found a couple of on our last trip, were all over the place this time.

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Black-headed Grosbeak at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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Bullock’s Oriole at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

A few other finds included this Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, and Downy Woodpecker.

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Northern Rough-winged Swallow at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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Belted Kingfisher at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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Downy Woodpecker at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

We also enjoyed a Cooper’s Hawk that seemed to move around the reserve along our path, giving us great views several different times.

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Cooper’s Hawk at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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Cooper’s Hawk at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

After watching the bird preen and stretch, we caught this fun take off sequence as the bird prepared to launch off of its perch.

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Cooper’s Hawk at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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Cooper’s Hawk at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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Cooper’s Hawk at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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Cooper’s Hawk at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

When it settled back down it had a little nicer lighting to bring our the nice colors.

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Cooper’s Hawk at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

As with our last trip, we made a quick pass by the cliffs where the Great Horned Owls have nested for ears, and found a couple of nestlings looking out from the cliff edge.

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Great Horned Owl nestlings at Hulls Gulch, Ada County. May 14, 2014.

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