Sunday, October 6, 2013

Market Lake

Saturday I traveled to Market Lake to see if the cold night brought in some birds.  I was not disappointed.  About 20 American Avocets were working the shallows.
There were a mixed flock of about 50 sandpipers and dowitchers.  Here a Pectoral Sandpiper joins a couple of Long-billed Dowitchers.

I got a kick watching a Long-billed Dowitcher bathing.  It was hilarious.

A Northern Harrier attack a bunch of shorebirds and I caught this Long-billed flying low enough to drag a wing in the water.

Enjoying another day in the wildness of Idaho.  With a day off from teaching tomorrow, I will be back out somewhere - Probably Market Lake to see if I can find some different birds.

Friday, October 4, 2013

This week I went after a load of firewood in Island Park when I saw a Clarks Nutcracker fly into a fir tree.  I grabbed my camera and found not only one in the Douglas fir tree, but about 30 in three trees that were loaded with cones.  Due to the hot dry weather this summer many fir trees are coneless.  I watched as they would grab the cones at their base and twists them off the limb.
Then most of the birds would take the cones into the interior of the tree, wedge the cone in a crook of the limb and then hammer the cone with a wicked large bill.

After loosening the cone, the Nutcracker would pick the seeds out, depositing them in a pouch under their tongue.

After filling the pouch, they would pick another cone and off they would fly to deposit the cone and the seeds in a cache on a nearby ridge.

Just another day of wildness in the wilds of Idaho.