Sunday, March 11, 2012

First Snow Geese of the year

Saturday was sunny and calm, so I left early looking for new arrivals from the bird kingdom.  I was not disappointed.  In a shallow pond I saw my first sandhill cranes of the season before the sun came up in the rising mist on the cold morning a Camas National Wildlife Refuge.

At Big Pond a white-tailed deer ran through the shallow pond, but it was ignored by the few waterfowl there.  The deer was one of 31 I saw on the refuge.

The male Great-horned owl was enjoying the warm sun as I finished my 3 hour tour/hike at Camas.

On my quest to try to locate some snow geese, I passed a cattle feedyard where calves were being born.  Seven Bald and one Golden eagles were cleaning up the after-birth from the recent births.

At Mud Lake I could hear the Snows long before I could see them.  They were dropping out of the sky thousands of feet in the air and joining their migrating compatriots.

I sat on the edge of the ice covered in the bright sun watching the waves of geese fly in.  Here a lone Great White-fronted goose leads the formation of some snows.

After two hours of watching the action of Mud Lake, I left.  As I got back to the truck I heard the whole flock of 4000 to 5000 take off.  The cloud you see is one of geese as they fly out to eat in the area fields.

Just another wild day in Idaho.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Busy Saturday

I wanted to do some birding Saturday, but I was not able to do any serious until 11:30 and I headed for Market Lake Wildlife Management area. 
Early it was all raptors like this Prairie Falcon.

There were plenty of starlings for the falcons, kestrels, and shrikes for lunch and dinner.

I finally located another nesting Great-horned owl nest to make four that I have found so far.

This "big daddy" did not feel up to attacking me as he has twice before.

And spring is in the air as these two Canada geese are flirting and showing off for each other.

A great way to finish the day was watching three Golden Eagles playing tag high over head and then locating and photographing a flock of Common Red Polls (later this week in my blog, madisonbirds) after a successful fishing trip.

A great day in the wilds of Idaho.