Monday, March 28, 2011

Midge hatch feeds birds

Saturday I drove to Henrys Lake to check on spawning fish and on the way home I decided to check the Henrys Fork for birds.  Midges were hatching by the millions and were all over the snow.

The first birds I noticed were European Starlings feeding on the midges.

A little further down the road I found what I was looking for - waxwings.  About 100 Bohemian and Cedar were sitting in the bushes, flying out to pick off the hatching midges.  Only a few of them were Cedar's while the majority were these beautiful Bohemians.

At times I would catch one "sallying" or hoovering  long enough to pick of the flying insects.  Robins and Mountain Bluebirds were joining the waxwing in the feast.

What a great sight to see, spending a few hours in the wilds of Idaho.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sunset between storms

Yesterday while chasing migrating waterfowl around Southeastern Idaho during storms, the sun decided to set and tell me good night.  Another storm was rolling in as I headed home.

A great view to end another wild day in Idaho.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Big birding day.

This morning I left the house at 6:30 with two goals - find the snow geese and see if I can find some sage grouse.  The roads out to the sage grouse leks are still blocked but as I pulled into Camas National Wildlife Refuge three grouse were flying over the pond.
The ponds are filling with water, but the snow geese have not found it yet.  The trumpeter swan and pintails have.

Did not find any snow geese at the refuge, so I headed for Mud Lake.  This Red-tailed hawk was hunting in a field where about half of the snow was gone.

About two mile east of Mud Lake I finally found the snow geese.  There were not a lot of them, but they were a sight for sore eyes.  They were coming in on small waves.

One group had a White-fronted goose with them.  It is only the third one I seen.

At Mud Lake I found this nesting in a bunch of Russian olives. 

For my last stop I headed to Market Lake.  It was still ice covered, but west of the freeway the fields were flooded by melting snow and covered with migrating Northern Pintails, Widgeon, Mallards and Northern Shovelers.

Nine hours of birding produced 49 species of birds and seven species of animals.  A great way to spend a wild day in Idaho.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


With all the storms rolling it both morning and evening, it makes for some interesting sunsets and sunrises.  Here is a sunrise I caught this week on my way to school.

A great way to start another wild day in Idaho.

See other great pictures of the sky at

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Last ice fishing trip?????

Yesterday I may have finished my ice fishing at Ririe Reservoir for the year.  The ice is still a safe 12 inches deep, but it is starting to crystalize and the four wheelers have broken the ice at the docks for about 12 out from the bank.  That along with a three-day seminar that I am incharge of next weekend, may cause me to put up my gear for the year.

It was a great day, as I was able to land about 15 kokanee and ended up with my limit.  They will taste good.

On the way home, just outside of the town of Ririe, I saw flocks of Trumpeter swan and Canada geese that were using a pond created by the melting snow.  In the spring waterfowl will feed heavily in these stubble fields before migrating north.  We should have snow geese showing up any day now.  When the snow geese come in, it is one impressive sight.  I will keep you posted.

Just another great day in the wilds of Idaho.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

SkyWatch Friday - Fishing sunset

On the way home from ice fishing on Ririe Reservoir, the sun was just snuggling into it slumber for the night.  Deer were enjoying the view as I passed them, but it was too dark for me to capture them.  Sunsets are created by impurities in the air; short lived, but beautiful.

Just the close of another wild day in Idaho.

See other pictures of the sky at