Tuesday, May 5, 2015

March highlights from Indian Creek Reservoir

I spent quite a bit of time in March at Indian Creek Reservoir. It’s close enough to town that it’s easy to get to for a quick morning outing before work with Nora, and it’s proximity to the highway makes it easy to add on to lots of other trips. For the most part, my trips to Indian Creek were pretty low key, but there were a few nice finds.

I started off the month with a flock of American Tree Sparrows. I saw them on three different trips, just one the first time, six the next time, and one more on a third trip. I wasn’t ever able to get really great photos since they were quite skittish, but I did get a couple of documentation shots. The first is out of focus and really obscured, but these sparrows are pretty hard to come by in Ada County so I wanted to keep some kind of evidence.

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American Tree Sparrow at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. March 2, 2015.

I was able to do a little better a couple of days later, but the bird was half in shadows and quite far away.

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American Tree Sparrow at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. March 4, 2015.

Later in the month I found a Prairie Falcon pair and a nest nearby. They’ve nested here in the past and for the most part they probably remain pretty undisturbed, but one day I did see a pair of hikers walk down near their nest and I could tell even from pretty far away that the falcons were quite upset. Both parents were calling loudly, circling above the hikers, and one of them kept repeatedly making quick and aggressive swoops on them. They were down in a little ravine so I couldn’t see the actual hikers, but hopefully they got the idea that they were unwanted and moved out of the area quickly.

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Prairie Falcon at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. March 26, 2015.

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Prairie Falcon at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. March 26, 2015.

Towards the end of the month I found my first of year Sage Thrasher. For just a few days there was just one Sage Thrasher singing his guts out south of the reservoir, in the same spot for a few days a in a row. Perhaps he moved on because he never got a response.

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Sage Thrasher at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. March 29, 2015.

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Sage Thrasher at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. March 29, 2015.

Of course the regulars like Western Meadowlark were out in force each day.

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Western Meadowlark at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. March 29, 2015.

Nearby on the Mayfield Loop I also found a Vesper Sparrow. They sure seemed to have arrived in pretty good numbers all at once.

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Vesper Sparrow on the Mayfield Loop, Ada County. March 29, 2015.

Horned Larks were by far the most abundant bird in the area, it felt like I found another pair or small flock every 50 feet for the whole drive.

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Horned Lark on the Mayfield Loop, Ada County. March 29, 2015.

One one more trip to Indian Creek Reservoir on the first of April turned up another Vesper Sparrow.

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Vesper Sparrow at Indian Creek Reservoir, Ada County. April 1, 2015.

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