Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Howe, Idaho, Christmas Bird Count

Getting up with the temperature at a balmy minus 13 degrees and heading out to Howe, Idaho, with four other people to do the annual Christmas Bird Count, can be very exciting.  As we entered the small town, the temperature had dropped to a minus 22 degrees, and what did we do?  We started wading in snow up to our knees looking for owls.  They were not to be found - but we found some later in the day.

In the car I was in there were three of us; Kit, Justin and myself.  We were assigned the northern section of the count area and found a total of 43 species of birds.  Two of them I had never taken pictures of.

There were five Virginia Rail chasing each other in a warm creek.
A White-throated Sparrow with a lot of other sparrows at a farm.

Also at that farm was about 30 California quail.

We ran into several coveys of Gray Partridge.

A Merlin was in the same tree with about 20 Eurasian Collared doves.

Three Belted kingfishers worked the warm springs near the rails.

Hundreds of Horned larks worked the straw and weed patches.

Known for it concentration of raptors during the winter, the Howe area is the winter home of the Rough-legged hawks.  We found 41 of them there.

Jackrabbits were everywhere.

We found the Common Redpolls throughout the day in small and large flocks.

It was a cold, but rewarding day spent in the wilds of Idaho.