Monday, June 22, 2009

One for Four

I arose before the dawn today trying to hit as many spots before the kids got up on my first real day off with "clear" skies in a while. The dickcissel colony on Elm Valley seemed to be thriving, it'd be worthwhile to walk the mile and a half along Elm Valley and Kruger and count how many singing birds there are. I probably heard at least 12 males just cruising slowly. No sign of the western meadowlark though. The dawn was just about to break as I left:

I arrived at the Warren Dunes "easy Prairie spot" to see a faint rainbow overhead, dark clouds over the lake, and what looked like downpours to the south.

I walked along listening for the summer tanager. I thought I heard a picky-tuck call very distantly and took a little side path in that direction. I never did find the tanager but did realize that one of the prairie warblers was teed up singing atop a cottonwood.

I eventually walked around him to get slightly better light and gain altitude (at the cost of distance), but for the first time ever vaguely captured some of the reddish back streaking in a pic...

He kept singing away. There were at least 3 singing males in this blowout (one that doesn't require a hike up the dunes, hence the "easy prairie" name for the spot)
My plan was to walk out over the dunes to the worm-eating spot since the road wasn't yet open, but I didn't really want to get a mile and a half from the car and have the storm hit so I ended up bailing on it, sure enough a downpour started about the time I got back to the car, getting me home before the kids even woke up!

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