Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Western Screech Owl at Foote Park

On May 9 and 10 we made a couple of quick trips out to Spring Shores Marina and Foote Park, both adjacent to Lucky Peak Lake, which is just a short drive from our home in Columbia Village. Spring Shores Marina is just barely across the border into Boise County, and since this habitat is fairly unique for Boise County, a lot of our sightings tend to hit eBird filters, either due to high numbers or due to being unexpected altogether for this county.

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Spring Shores Marina, Boise County. May 9, 2014.

On this trip we had a few nice migrants in the trees around the marina, including quite a few Chipping Sparrows, Western Kingbirds, and Bullock’s Orioles.

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Chipping Sparrow at Spring Shores Marina, Boise County. May 9, 2014.

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Chipping Sparrow at Spring Shores Marina, Boise County. May 9, 2014.

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Western Kingbird at Spring Shores Marina, Boise County. May 9, 2014.

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Bullock’s Oriole at Spring Shores Marina, Boise County. May 9, 2014.

In the east side of the parking lot, we had about a dozen Lark Sparrows, which hit the eBird filter as an unexpectedly high count for this county.

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Lark Sparrow at Spring Shores Marina, Boise County. May 9, 2014.

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Lark Sparrow at Spring Shores Marina, Boise County. May 9, 2014.

We made a quick stop at Foote Park on the evening of the 9th, and didn’t find a ton of birds, but were happy to see a Western Screech Owl poking its head out of a nest box near the parking area.

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Western Screech Owl at Foote Park, Ada County. May 9, 2014.

On the morning of May 10 we headed straight back to Foote Park to see if we could find a Virginia’s Warbler that Jay Carlisle reported finding there a few days earlier in the week. We didn’t find the Virginia’s Warbler, which probably didn’t stay long, but had a few other fun birds along the way.

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Foote Park, Ada County. May 10, 2014.

On top of the dam on the way over to Foote Park we found a couple dozen Cliff Swallows swarming on one tiny mud puddle, scooping up beaks full of mud to build their nests, which I would guess were close by on the side of the dam.

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Cliff Swallows on Lucky Peak Dam, Ada County. May 10, 2014.

The park was loaded with lots of Yellow-rumped and Yellow Warblers, but we didn’t bother to take many photos since we were busy hunting down the Virginia’s Warbler. We did snap just a few pictures, including this Lazuli Bunting, Chipping Sparrow, and Turkey Vulture.

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Lazuli Bunting at Foote Park, Ada County. May 10, 2014.

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Chipping Sparrow at Foote Park, Ada County. May 10, 2014.

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Turkey Vulture at Foote Park, Ada County. May 10, 2014.

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