Friday, December 11, 2009

Fall Season Report for North American Birds

Here is my fall season (August 1 - November 30) for North American Birds (http://www.aba.org/nab/). Dave Trochlell (dtrochlell@verizon.net) is the editor for Idaho and western Montana.

Greater White-fronted Goose - 10/6 @ UI Dairy, discovered by Terry, quite hard to find in Latah Co. although annual in Nez Perce Co. (usually Mann Lake)

Cackling Goose - 11/13, 9 @ UI Dairy, Moscow, presumed Taverner's race, see photos at http://tinyurl.com/yhylt9k, Terry discovered 3 earlier in the day, I went later and found the 9 (5 are in the photos), will be submitted to IBRC (perhaps a record count for Idaho?)

Western Grebe - 150 on 9/10 @ Cascade Res. Sugraloaf area, probably many hundreds total (according IDFG up to 4000 nest here which I can believe, it would be great to do some more complete surveys here)

Clark's Grebe - 9/7 @ Dworshak Res., Clearwater Co, quite uncommon up here

White Pelican - 150 on 9/10 @ Cascade Res. Sugraloaf area (probably more elsewhere) and 150 on 9/13 at the south end of Cascade Res.

Broad-winged Hawk - 1 on 9/12 @ Lucky Peak, I think they had a pretty good number this season, hope you will get a report from Jay on that

Gray Flycatcher - 9/21 @ UI Arboretum, still trying to figure out the status of this species here in migration (and still getting familiar with it!), appears to be regular in e. WA late Aug through Sep. at migrant traps (as is Least FC which I'm still trying to figure out how to identify when silent!)

Bohemian Waxwing - 7 on 11/1 @ UI Arboretum, I had small numbers on 2 other dates in early November. Probably about the earliest they regularly occur in n. ID but not unusually early. Some were near Spokane in late October. (a cool October may have helped)

American Redstart - seen in migration in Moscow on 8/16 and 8/20, rarely detected in migration here. These dates suggest they are early migrants so perhaps they are easily overlooked (really need to start looking for migrants earlier in August). Also being at the ~southwest edge of their breeding range I've always assumed they are migrate east then south but perhaps there is a western migration corridor as well. (There is much still to learn about migration in the western U.S. I think.)

Lark Sparrow - 9/5 north of Moscow, very uncommon migrant here (where are these coming from??)

White-throated Sparrow - 10/20 @ UI Arboretum (present several days, presume same bird)

American Tree Sparrow - 10/20 @ UI Arboretum, rarely detected in migration (by me) in fact quite uncommon overall in our area, Terry has a discovered a couple small groups that winter in the area

Common Redpoll - 11/15 @ UI Parker Farm (Moscow) with about 40 A. Goldfinches, I doubt this is unusually early, just nobody looks much in November.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

East Moscow neighborhood birds, 11/14/09


Location:     Moscow - East City Area (centered on E. City Park)
Observation date:     11/14/09
Notes:     Beautiful, sunny, cold, snowy fall morning. About 2" fresh snow, temp. 36-38 F, sunny w/ broken cloud. Roads fairly slick. Many birds right in our block w/ a nice group of robins, starlings, and juncos w/ 3 Varied Thrushs.
Number of species:     15

Canada Goose     X
Rough-legged Hawk     1     dark morph, dark carpal patches visible, dusky white undertail coverts and dark sub-terminal tail band
Northern Flicker     6
American Crow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     2
Red-breasted Nuthatch     6
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     15
Varied Thrush     3
European Starling     30
Cedar Waxwing     30
Dark-eyed Junco     35
House Finch     20
American Goldfinch     1
House Sparrow     5

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)


These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/

--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Sunday, November 01, 2009

fall birding at the University of Idaho Arboretum


I had 7 Bohemian Waxwings this morning at the UI Arboretum w/ about 70 Cedar Waxwings (total 150 for my morning walk). This is about the earliest I've had them in Moscow although I'm sure it's not unprecedented. I had a flock of ~300 Cedar Waxwings on campus Thursday (10/29) and was looking carefully for them then but no luck. There have been reports of Bohemians in southern British Columbia and w/ the unsettled and at times cold October weather I figured there was a good chance we'd get some early ones here. Also this morning among 26 species were 2 Cooper's Hawks, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, Belted Kingfisher and Great Blue Heron (both present Thursday), flock of 5 Townsend's Solitaires (always nice!), ~10 Black-capped Chickadees, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and others.

I haven't had much of a chance to put together a report but have covered the UI arboretum complex 6 times now in the past 2 weeks and birding has continued to be quite good (20+ species on all visits and a good diversity overall). Seems like I usually curtail my fall migration birding here after mid October but this is clearly a mistake! I'll try to post a summary in the next few days but here are a few items of interest.

On Tuesday (10/27) I had an immature Northern Goshawk flying south through/over the arb. (this is a good time for migrating Goshawks). The Goshawk initially gave the impression of a Sharpie until it got closer and I realized it was much too large to be a Sharpie. "Hawks in Flight" (Dunne et al.) notes that Goshawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk have very similar wing and tail proportions and this is useful (among other things) in separating immature Goshawks and Cooper's Hawk in the field. (According to Dunne et al. "If Sharp-shinned Hawks were the size of Cooper's Hawks, distinguishing between them and Goshawks would border on the impossible". It also notes that high flying Goshawks at hawk watches are likely to be initially mis-identified as Sharpies - until they flap that is.) 

The past couple of weeks (but not today) I've been observing a flock of ~15 or so Yellow-rumped Warblers - I presume mostly the same birds - frequenting the same general part of the arb. It turns out there are a couple of "Myrtle Warblers" in this group but my post a couple weeks ago was wrong (sort of) in pointing to pale throats as a key feature in separating Myrtles from Audubon's. In actuality basic (fall plumage) Audubon's can have fairly pale throats (most probably 1st fall females). However, with basic plumage Myrtle Warblers the white throat extends in thin arcs under the auriculars (cheek area) and this along w/ several other features makes the face pattern fairly distinctive from Audubon's. This is pointed out well in the big Sibley and in more detail in Dunn and Garret's "Peterson Field Guide to Warblers". Fortunately I was able to study the guides at home and then study this flock further on successive visits. It also turns out after some study there were a good number of adult (after hatch year) male Audubon's Warblers in the group as evidence by the gray streaking on their backs. It may well be that there were both male and female 1st year (hatch year in banding lingo) and adult (after hatch year) Audubon's in this group. According to Dunn and Garret the dullest pale throated birds likely are 1st year (hy) females and the brightest, distinctly marked, yellow-throated birds are adult (ahy) males with the others hard to separate (this is typical of many passerines and often only these 2 plumages are depicted in the major field guides). BTW this may be of more than just academic interest as there is recent research on this species complex that may result in Myrtle and Audubon's Warblers being un-lumped (Dunn and Garret seem to be of the opinion that the split was incorrect and indeed if you look at these 2 they are quite different in appearance although their similarities certainly point to a common ancestor species, and yes they do hybridize in a narrow zone in British Columbia.)

It's always nice to go out and learn new things in your own backyard and to have cooperative birds stay around to be studied on successive visits! More later (hopefully) on my recent UI Arboretum birding - time to go do some raking!

thanks, Charles.

--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Friday, September 25, 2009

West Mountain, Valley Co., Idaho (9/13/09)

Cascade Reservoir from West Mountain, looking northeast

I explored up West Mountain (Valley Co.) a bit on my way home from Boise a couple weeks ago. This is a very attractive area and it seems to me birding could be quite good along the road up to the ridge in breeding season. The road is actually in pretty good shape although narrow in spots due to encroaching vegetation. I only went as far as the main West Mountain ridge but one could continue further west into the mountain range and eventually all the way to Council. There is a lookout on a bald further west that also looks interesting. There was a Dusky Grouse carcass at the saddle/road intersection. Complete eBird list is below.

More photos of area here: http://tinyurl.com/ydhy5qy

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Location: West Mountain Saddle
Observation date: 9/13/09
Notes: This is the first main (West Mountain) ridge line up USFS Road #435 - about 20 minutes from the west side of Cascade Lake (West Mountain Rd.) A nice area of mixed conifers w/ jeep tracks going north and south from the saddle. The road up looks like it could be quite good in the breeding season w/ lot of deciduous understory. Also some great views of Cascade Res. along the way. A Dusky Grouse carcass was near the saddle. There is also a warming hut for snow mobilers.
Number of species: 12

Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 2
Steller's Jay 1
Clark's Nutcracker 3
Common Raven 2
Mountain Chickadee 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 10
Chipping Sparrow 20
Dark-eyed Junco 2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fwd: eBird Report - Moscow - UI Arboretum and Botanical Gardens , 9/17/09


University of Idaho Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, from north entrance


It was pretty birdy in the UI Arboretum at noon today w/ lots of YR Warblers and Cedar Waxwings and smattering of others. A bunch of waxwings were scattered around feeding and then a flock of ~150 and another of ~50 flew over. Many Yellow-rumps were feeding on the ground and low in an open oak grove and of course doing lots of fly catching. Also of interest were a couple each of both kinglets, a Hermit Thrush (responded to owl imitations, fist alerted to its presence by 'chuk' call notes), and a few juncos. Also a lingering House Wren (same area it's been in for several weeks now) and smattering of migrants other than YRWA. I wonder if it will be cool enough this weekend to clear out some of the lingering breeders?

Complete eBird list is below.

Charles.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <do-not-reply@ebird.org>
Date: Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 2:48 PM
Subject: eBird Report - Moscow - UI Arboretum and Botanical Gardens , 9/17/09
To: chaetura@gmail.com


Location: Moscow - UI Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Observation date: 9/17/09
Notes: Very birdy lunch hour walk through Arboretum. Most notable large number of Yellow-rumped Warblers and Cedar Waxwing and a smattering of other migrants. Hermit Thrush responded to my owl imitation. Most birds were below the lower pond and in the oak grove. Many Yellow-rumps were feeding on the ground. First RCKI and DEJU of fall locally for me.
Number of species: 26

Canada Goose 8
Mallard 2
Swainson's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Northern Flicker 6
Warbling Vireo 1
Black-billed Magpie 3
Common Raven 2
Barn Swallow 5
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Mountain Chickadee 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
House Wren 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 2
Cedar Waxwing 250
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 70
Western Tanager 1
Song Sparrow 1
White-crowned Sparrow 10
Dark-eyed Junco 3
American Goldfinch 1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)


--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Hatter Creek Rd.

Posted by Picasa

I had a nice mixed flock of up to 100 birds in the field pictured above (complete list below). Included in this flock was a Lark Sparrow, seen initially perched on the barbed wire fence and then later foraging on the ground with Chipping Sparrows etc.. A pretty uncommon species in Idaho north of the Palouse as far as we can tell.

The location was along Hatter Creek Rd. on the north side of Moscow Mountain accessed from ID-6 at the small town of Princeton. The birds were working a weedy field w/ nearby shrub cover and scattered Ponderosa Pines where they would retreat when spooked. I presume these fields are full of insects at this time. This type of habitat seems quite good in fall migration for bluebirds, YR Warblers, and Chippies and other species that may attracted to the gathering.

Location: Hatter Creek Rd.
Observation date: 9/5/09
Notes: A nice mixed flock included a single well seen Lark Sparrow. Distinctive face pattern and white tail corners well seen and larger size than Chipping Sparrows it was found with noted. Probably a fairly uncommon fall migrants in this region.
Number of species: 12

Turkey Vulture 2
American Kestrel 1
Mountain Chickadee 1
Pygmy Nuthatch 2
Western Bluebird 10
American Robin 4
Cedar Waxwing 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 20
Chipping Sparrow 40
Lark Sparrow 1
Red Crossbill 4
Pine Siskin 10

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fwd: eBird Report - Moscow - UI Arboretum and Botanical Gardens , 8/30/09





I had a great couple of hours at the UI Arboretum this morning (complete eBird list below). Lots of birds moving through with activity increasing as the morning progressed (presumably arriving migrants, some of which may continue moving for some time after dawn under good flight conditions). With so much going on I'm sure I missed more than a few birds and a good number of empidonax flycatchers went unidentified (although Hammond's seemed to be the dominant species). Also a good number of pewees and at least 2 Olive-sided Flycatchers were present. The highlight was probably a Gray Catbird which although a fairly common breeder nearby seems to be quite uncommon in migration. I think this is my first record for Moscow proper.

I checked the Spokane radar loop last evening using http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/radar/ and it appeared to be showing a good flight early in the evening. I've been interested in Colby Neuman's nocturnal migration monitoring and he's given me some help on reading the radar loops for migrating birds. Cool stuff.

thanks, Charles.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Location: Moscow - UI Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Observation date: 8/30/09
Notes: Great morning at Arboretum a day and half after a cold front. Started out slowly but birds arriving migrants moved in as it warmed up. Lots of squabbling and chasing was observed. A large flock of Cedar Waxwings was spread out and actively feeding. A good # of empids went unidentified although Hammond's seemed the dominant species. Warbling Vireos probably underestimated, some in small flocks. Warblers were a bit tricky to pick out of all the other birds presents. The Gray Catbird was probably the best bird - probably my first for Moscow and hard to find as a migrant (which this one presumably was).
Number of species: 35

Mallard 5
California Quail 10
Swainson's Hawk 3
Mourning Dove 10
Northern Flicker 4
Olive-sided Flycatcher 2
Western Wood-Pewee 6
Hammond's Flycatcher 8
Dusky Flycatcher 2
Cassin's Vireo 1
Warbling Vireo 12
Common Raven 3
Barn Swallow 4
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
House Wren 1
American Robin 1
Gray Catbird 1
European Starling 5
Cedar Waxwing 60
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 5
Townsend's Warbler 2
MacGillivray's Warbler 2
Wilson's Warbler 5
Western Tanager 8
Chipping Sparrow 10
Song Sparrow 2
Lazuli Bunting 2
House Finch 5
Pine Siskin 8
American Goldfinch 5
Evening Grosbeak 2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)


--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Moscow migrants, Am. Redstart etc., 8/16/09

I had a nice group of migrants coming through Moscow this morning highlighted by a female American Redstart (complete eBird list follows). Most were seen on a walk through the small Heron's Hideout Park in southeast Moscow. This is a nice little linear park along Paradise Creek that includes some nice willow stands, weedy/seedy fields, and cattails, a great combination for fall migrants. The urban location also accounts for the large number of urban species (quail, starlings, house sparrows, etc.) The weedy areas were loaded w/ Pine Siskins working the seed heads this morning.

Also in my yard this morning were MacGillivray's, Townsend's, and a couple Wilson's Warblers, and Warbling Vireo.

Charles.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <do-not-reply@ebird.org>
Date: Sun, Aug 16, 2009 at 9:45 PM
Subject: eBird Report - Moscow - Heron's Hideout/Brink Park , 8/16/09
To: chaetura@gmail.com

Location:     Moscow - Heron's Hideout/Brink Park
Observation date:     8/16/09
Notes:     Morning walk through just Heron's HIdeout was very rewarding w/ a nice diversity of migrants, residents, and local breeders. Highlight was a female American Redstart flitting in the Willows at the north end of the park (behind houses).
Number of species:     32

Mallard     2
California Quail     20
Killdeer     2
Mourning Dove     1
Black-chinned Hummingbird     1
Calliope Hummingbird     1
Rufous Hummingbird     1
Downy Woodpecker     3
Northern Flicker     3
Western Wood-Pewee     5
Western Kingbird     1
American Crow     8
Barn Swallow     5
Black-capped Chickadee     3
Red-breasted Nuthatch     1
Bewick's Wren     1
American Robin     5
European Starling     40
Cedar Waxwing     2
Nashville Warbler     1
Yellow Warbler     3
American Redstart     1
Common Yellowthroat     1
Wilson's Warbler     2
Chipping Sparrow     10
Song Sparrow     5
Lazuli Bunting     5
Red-winged Blackbird     50
House Finch     20
Pine Siskin     40
American Goldfinch     5
House Sparrow     30

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Little Butte area, eastern Whitman Co., WA, 7/17/09


images of Little Butte - more at http://tinyurl.com/kv4nrg

On Friday morning I beat the heat and took a short hike up to Little Butte from Woods Rd. (off Snow Rd.) just across the ID/WA border in eastern Whitman Co. and about 5 miles south of Moscow. Back in early June I got to the access point at the end of Woods Rd. but was unable to get very far up on the butte (w/ Iris in tow). This time I hiked w/ Sam Hunter about ~1.5 miles up onto Little Butte and then south and west to within about .5 miles of Bald Butte. Around Little Butte is extensive, varied, and interesting habitat interspersed within a matrix of cropland. Habitat present includes cropland (in various states, mostly un-planted on top), disturbed weedy grassland, remnant Palouse prairie (bunch grass/forb mixture), lights to extensive shrub cover, scattered Ponderosa Pine, and some impressive looking Aspen clones. Native habitat types were well represented. Several shrubby north and east aspect draws have extensive and dense cover and were busy with a lot of bird activity. There are some exposed rocky areas on the south side (hence the Rock Wren). The habitat is very similar to what is found on western Paradise Ridge but much more extensive especially in terms of undisturbed areas.

There was still (at this date) plenty of bird vocalization evident especially among the most common species: Lazuli Buntings, House Wrens, and Spotted Towhees. Several weedy long grass areas had Grasshopper Sparrows including at least 4 singing males. This is pretty interesting and based on other recent reports it seems that territorial Grasshopper Sparrows are fairly easy to find well into summer. Also of interest were several Vesper Sparrows (still singing), several Dusky Flycatchers in the shrubby area, a Rock Wren (fairly local up on the Palouse compared to in the canyons), and several small flocks of Chipping Sparrows which were presumably migrants. With regard to the latter there is evidence (from Colorado) that Chipping Sparrows undergo a molt migration after nesting and before their usual southbound fall migration. I also detected at least half a dozen hummingbirds which I assume were migrating but was unable to identify any of them as they zipped by. My complete eBird list is below.

This was a fairly quick hike and we only just scratched the surface in terms of exploring the area. I can't wait to get back up there next spring and do a more extensive exploration. As well explorations at other times of the year may be fairly rewarding. I suspect Clay-colored and Brewer's Sparrows may well be here and there are historical records for both. The homestead area at the south end of Woods Rd. which we used to access Little Butte remains un-posted at this time.

complete bird list, approximately 3 miles round trip hike

Ring-necked Pheasant 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Mourning Dove 1
Great Horned Owl 1
Northern Flicker 2
Western Wood-Pewee 3
Dusky Flycatcher 3
Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher (Western) 1
Eastern Kingbird 1
Black-billed Magpie 4
Common Raven 2
Horned Lark 5
Barn Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Rock Wren 1
House Wren 10
American Robin 8
Gray Catbird 3
Cedar Waxwing 5
Yellow Warbler 3
Western Tanager 1
Spotted Towhee 15
Chipping Sparrow 15
Vesper Sparrow 4
Grasshopper Sparrow 6
Song Sparrow 1
Black-headed Grosbeak 4
Lazuli Bunting 20
Western Meadowlark 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 3
Bullock's Oriole 2
House Finch 3
American Goldfinch 1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(
http://ebird.org)


Monday, July 13, 2009

Palouse River - Eden Valley to Elberton (by canoe), Whitman Co., WA, 5/29/09

Hi All -

I'm finally getting around to finishing and posting this report.

In late May I canoed an 8 mile stretch of the Palouse R. in eastern Whitman Co., WA with my daughter Iris and a friend. We floated from Altergott Rd. (a few miles west of the town of Palouse) to Elberton Rd. This stretch is a real gem and as it is surrounded by farm land (mostly wheat fields) is accessible only by boat except for 3 road crossings (the put-in, take-out, and Lange Rd.) . Along the river is a variable strip of riparian vegetation and (mostly) Ponderosa Pine forest. The shrub cover is quite good in places and basalt outcrops are readily visible including several impressive cliffs. The river corridor creates a greenbelt or linear oasis in the midst of the extensive Palouse wheat fields in eastern Whitman Co.

And there were *lots* of birds along the river, always audible and in view. (Complete eBird list is below.) The most common species were Cliff Swallow (130 - in several large hard to count colonies),  and 3 very common landbird species (never out of hearing range for very long) - Yellow Warbler (64), House Wren (54), and Western Wood-Pewee (28) - and these are most certainly undercounts due to the difficulty of counting birds from a canoe due to stream noise etc. Most birds were detected by ear except for more visible species such as swallows, Spotted Sandpipers, a few waterfowl, and Red-tailed Hawks. Some other interesting species totals were Willow Flycatcher (9),  Western Flycatcher (7),  Gray Catbird (9), Black-headed Grosbeak (15), and Bullock's Oriole (11). Some of  these (Willow & Western Flycatcher, Gray Catbird) are fairly local in Whitman Co. but apparently not uncommon along the river. I also found 1 Veery (very local in Whitman Co.) below Lange Rd. and was actually surprised not to find more as the habitat looked great for them in many places. We did start rather late in the day which may account for missing some birds but there was plenty of bird song and activity all through the afternoon.

Although this may be the best bird habitat along the Palouse R. in Whitman Co., there are many more miles of river to explore upstream to the ID/WA border (and into Idaho for that matter) and down to Colfax and beyond (and there is also the South Fork Palouse to explore). I'm hoping to explore this and other sections in future years. In most years the river is easily runnable only until late May/early June (unless you want to do a lot of boat dragging) so there is a narrow window to survey most of the breeding species.

For eBird  purposes I broke the trip into 5 segments and georeferenced starting points (w/ gps) but still need to plot these on google earth and determine segment lengths. The list below is cumulative for the trip.

Location:     Palouse R. - Eden Valley
Observation date:     5/29/09
Notes:     Palouse R. canoe trip from Altergott Rd. (Eden Valley) to Elberton. About 8 river miles. I have the trip split into 5 segments and will submit those to eBird when I can figure out distances.
Number of species:     40

Canada Goose     4
Wood Duck     1
Mallard     4
Ring-necked Pheasant     1
Osprey     1
Red-tailed Hawk     16
Spotted Sandpiper     17
Mourning Dove     6
Belted Kingfisher     2
Red-naped Sapsucker     1
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Western Wood-Pewee     28
Willow Flycatcher     9
Hammond's Flycatcher     2
Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher (Western)     7
Eastern Kingbird     7
Warbling Vireo     2
Common Raven     4
Violet-green Swallow     4
Northern Rough-winged Swallow     20
Cliff Swallow     130
Barn Swallow     2
Black-capped Chickadee     2
Pygmy Nuthatch     5
Rock Wren     1
House Wren     53
Veery     1
American Robin     23
Gray Catbird     9
European Starling     15
Cedar Waxwing     X
Orange-crowned Warbler     5
Yellow Warbler     64
Western Tanager     2
Spotted Towhee     4
Chipping Sparrow     8
Song Sparrow     10
Black-headed Grosbeak     15
Bullock's Oriole     11
American Goldfinch     10

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Latah Co. Grasshopper Sparrow, etc., 7/12/09

This afternoon a Grasshopper Sparrow was singing along Foothill Rd. just across the street from the upper foothill pond a bit north of Moscow. Interesting to find one singing mid-afternoon on a warm day. The habitat looks pretty good here for them. I also did a bit of birding earlier at Laird Park east of Potlatch with a good amount of activity of the usual species. Returning we did a quick check of Big Creek/Old River Rd. and Garden Gulch Rd. for Bobolinks with no luck (but noted plenty of good habitat). They could be done nesting or just out of site in the grown up fields on a warm afternoon.

thanks, Charles.

--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Friday, June 26, 2009

nesting American Kestrels on UI Campus

Posted by Picasa

An adult and young American Kestrel waiting for food in a cavity on the side of the Art and Architecture Building on the University of Idaho Moscow campus. Shortly after taking this photo the female arrived with food so this must be the adult male w/ a young bird in the nest. Another young bird had already fledged and was waiting for food nearby. They nest most years somewhere on campus (I've found them on a number of buildings over the years) and are fairly common breeders in town. As cavity nesters they will readily use man-made structures. Along with Red-tailed Hawks they are the most common diurnal raptors on the Palouse and year round residents.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

recent U. of Idaho, Moscow sightings, 6/24/09

Hi All -

I've got a Cordilleran Flycatcher calling (suwheet suwheet!) outside my office window right now and it's been wandering around this side of campus since Monday. I presume it's an un-mated male as I haven't heard it before this week. They are regular though and have probably nested on campus in the past. A Warbling Vireo was also singing nearby on Monday although not since and I presume the same story. They have nested in the UI Arboretum but probably this bird was not a local breeder.

Local breeders of interest include Western Wood Pewees and Yellow Warblers which are on territory along Paradise Creek and elsewhere in the case of the pewees. I haven't walked through the Shattuck Arboretum recently but have heard a House Wren calling there from the peripherary and heard that Mountain Chickadees were nesting there again. Violet-green Swallows, Barn Swallows, and Vaux's Swifts are also a regular features of campus avifauna in June.

Raptors on campus include Red-tailed and Swainson's Hawks and the Red-tails have noisy young on the southeast side of campus. I don't know where the Swainson's are nesting this year but there must be a pair nearby. American Kestrels have apparently nested in the Art and Architecture building and I heard food begging young there yesterday which I will check out again later today.

--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lower Granite Dam & vicinity, Whitman/Garfield Counties, WA., 6/21/09



We wandered over to L. Granite Dam on the Snake R. in the rain yesterday afternoon to see what was happening. This is an area we haven't been to in quite some time but is not that far from Moscow/Pullman. Most notable were American White Pelicans, California Gulls, and several Caspian Terns with the 3 species seen in both counties (although it's not entirely clear from the map where the county line runs along the Snake R., it's mostly a trivial matter as these birds wander back and forth and up and down the river.)

American White Pelican - total of ~70 with most loafing on an island just downstream of Boyer Park, there were as many as 10 or 15 near or just downstream of the dam and a few scattered elsewhere along the river from Almota to the dam.
California Gull - total of ~40-50 with most loafing w/ pelicans on island, and a few others at the base of the dam
Caspian Tern - 2 flew upstream right over the middle of the dam and later a single calling bird flew high above the river near Boyer Park

They are firing a propane canon at the base of the dam presumably to haze the White Pelicans (and other piscavores) away from the area. It didn't seem to have too much effect on the pelicans. Interestingly there were no cormorants in the area although they could be elsewhere up or down stream, perhaps closer to their breeding colonies wherever those are (does anybody know??). The area above the dam and immediately below the dam is not visible or accessible from the Whitman Co. side as there are no dam crossings allowed on Sundays.

Despite the time and perhaps because of the rain and cool temps there was a fair amount of other bird activity. There were lots of swallows over the river with all species except Tree observed. Boyer Park had mostly A. Robins but also Western Kingbird, Yellow Warbler, and Bullock's Oriole among others. Boyer Pk. is irrigated w/ tall trees and looks like it could be a decent migrant trap but is fairly manicured w/o much undergrowth. The bottom of the grade from Almota up to the hairpin turn has a pretty nice strip of riparian habitat. Birding it requires stopping in the emergency pullouts which didn't seem a big problem w/ very little traffic. This area had among others Western Wood-Pewee, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lazuli Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Bullock's Oriole.

Union Flat Creek could also be checked out on a trip here which is an interesting area and is mentioned frequently in Larrison and Weber's, "Birds of Southeastern WA" including a possible location for breeding Veery. The little bit one passes on the way to Lower Granite looks pretty good.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

west Moscow Mountain (Foothill Rd., Headwaters Trail), 6/15-16/09

photo Sam Hunter (more here http://picasaweb.google.com/shunter/0616BirdingTrip2#)

Last evening and this morning I took groups attending the Evolution Meetings here in Moscow up to the west end of Moscow Mountain (north of Moscow) for some birding. Foothill Rd. dead ends at a gated logging road (known locally as the Headwaters Trail area) which provides some great foot/bike access to the west side of Moscow Mountain. A parking area is provided about .25 miles before the gate as this area is heavily used on weekends by locals. The road and lower part of trail pass through typical mixed conifer forest w/ good shrub understory and some riparian deciduous vegetation along a creek. This provides for a nice variety of the typical nesting songbirds in our area. A sampling of species of interest include Calliope Hummingbird (common), Dusky, Hammond's, and Cordilleran Flycatchers, Western Wood-Pewee (common), Cassin's and Red-eyed Vireos (local but regular here), Swainson's Thrush (common), Gray Catbird, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Townsend's, and MacGillivray's Warbler (I've had Nashville Warbler here in previous years which is an uncommon breeder in Latah Co.), Western Tanager, Spotted Towhee, and Black-headed Grosbeaks. I've never made it up very high on this side of the mountain in breeding season but I'm sure it would be well worth the trip. In fact a traverse of Moscow Mountain on foot ot bike to survey breeding bird would probably be very interesting.

This location is on my Latah Co. birding sites Google Map here - http://tinyurl.com/8q54ys. An eBird lits of this morning's trip is below:

Location: Pond 9 Area
Observation date: 6/16/09
Notes: Evolution meeting field trip w/ ~30 participants. Walked from parking lot up just above Pond 9 and back. Good variety of species.
Number of species: 28

California Quail 2
Mourning Dove 2
Calliope Hummingbird 5
Western Wood-Pewee 6
Hammond's Flycatcher 4
Dusky Flycatcher 1
Cordilleran Flycatcher 3
Cassin's Vireo 2
Red-eyed Vireo 2
Common Raven 1
Violet-green Swallow X
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
House Wren 2
Swainson's Thrush 8
American Robin 4
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Yellow Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Townsend's Warbler 2
MacGillivray's Warbler 2
Western Tanager 6
Spotted Towhee 4
Chipping Sparrow 6
Black-headed Grosbeak 4
Brown-headed Cowbird 4

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)


--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Paradise Ridge, Latah Co., sparrows, 6/13/09

Paradise Ridge, photo Sam Hunter

I took a group from the UI Evolution meetings up to Kas's place on the west end of Paradise Ridge. We had good looks at Grasshopper, Clay-colored (pair), and Vesper Sparrows and I heard at least 1 Brewer's Sparrow. The main crowd-pleasers (not all present were keen birders) were Eastern Kingbirds, Bullock's Orioles, the Violet-green Swallows and Mountain Bluebirds around Kas's house, and of course the Palouse wild flowers currently in peak form and great views of the Palouse to the north and west. What a great way to introduce the Palouse to this group of mostly out-of-town visitors! The Mountain Bluebirds near Kas's house were carrying food around (confirms breeding) and the Clay-colored Sparrows have to be strongly suspected of breeding at this point. This would be nice to confirm as there are very few confirmed breeding records for Idaho.

Here is a link to a slideshow of images taken by one of the participants:

Location: Paradise Ridge West
Observation date: 6/13/09
Notes: Evolution mtg field trip to Kas's. A pretty good showing of birds despite breezy conditions and large (~20) suze of group. Clay-colored Sparrow pair were seen well.
Number of species: 34

Ring-necked Pheasant 2
California Quail 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1
Mourning Dove 5
Western Wood-Pewee 3
Willow Flycatcher 1
Western Kingbird 1
Eastern Kingbird 3
Black-billed Magpie 3
Violet-green Swallow 4
Pygmy Nuthatch X
House Wren 4
Mountain Bluebird 2
American Robin 4
Cedar Waxwing 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 3
Yellow Warbler 2
Spotted Towhee 2
Chipping Sparrow 4
Clay-colored Sparrow 2
Brewer's Sparrow 1
Vesper Sparrow 2
Grasshopper Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 2
Black-headed Grosbeak 1
Lazuli Bunting 2
Western Meadowlark 3
Yellow-headed Blackbird 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 6
Bullock's Oriole 3
House Finch 3
Pine Siskin 4
American Goldfinch 4

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Sunday, June 07, 2009

eastern Whitman Co., Little Butte area, 6/7/09


Acting on a tip from Dick Johnson I explored an area a few miles south of Moscow and just a bit into Whitman Co. In an uncultivated shrubby draw and hillside I found a nice variety of typical upland Palouse songbirds (complete list below) with a Veery singing away in their midst. It was also nice to find several Gray Catbirds here. The draw had quite nice shrub growth with running water and was mostly on a north or northeast aspect slope which I'm sure helps keep it lush. The Veery was singing a bit up the hill from the draw in an area that had some scattered pines. (This is my second recent Whitman Co. Veery w/ another on 5/29 on a float trip along the Palouse R. west of Palouse, WA - report to come.)


I didn't get very far up hill (hard to do w/ a 3 year old in tow!) but it looks very interesting higher up and from the satellite images on google maps. I thought I was near the base of Bald Butte but it actually appears to be an eastward extension of the Bald Butte ridge line. I ran into the tenant farmer on the way out and he called it "Little Butte" or something like that. The area is currently unposted and at the end of a public road (Woods Rd.) but the farmer told me it is soon to be posted and gated due to off-roading but will be accessible w/ permission (he didn't have any problem w/ people hiking around and birding). Contact me for information on how to get permission if you're interested.

It looks like Bald Butte may be accessible over land from here but may be better accessed from the west (although there may may be access issues from the west according to Dick Johnson). This whole area looks very interesting and Bald Butte in particular is mentioned frequently in Weber and Larrison ("Birds of Southeastern WA") for among other things Clay-colored and Brewer's Sparrows. (Burleigh also mentioned Paradise Ridge for Clay-colored Sparrows and both of these publications are now ~30 years old.)

Hopefully more exploration to come. It's always nice to discover (or in this case rediscover) a nearby location w/ birding potential and natural features.

thanks, Charles.


Location: Little Butte
Observation date: 6/7/09
Notes: A nice discovery of a shrubby draw (w/ audible flowing water) at the end of Woods Rd. south of Moscow (although actually in Whitman Co.). It is visible from Paradise Ridge to the east and may provide access overland to Bald Butte.
Number of species: 22

Red-tailed Hawk 1
Mourning Dove 2
Great Horned Owl 1
Northern Flicker 1
Western Wood-Pewee 1
Horned Lark 1
Black-capped Chickadee 2
House Wren 10
Veery 1
American Robin 6
Gray Catbird 2
European Starling 1
Yellow Warbler 6
Spotted Towhee 2
Chipping Sparrow 2
Savannah Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 4
Black-headed Grosbeak 5
Lazuli Bunting 2
Western Meadowlark 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 10
American Goldfinch 5

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)


--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Mann Lake , 6/5/09


I spent a pleasant 1.5 hrs at Mann Lake on Friday around noon finding 45 species. Highlights were 6 American Avocets, 4 Bonaparte's Gulls, 3 Franklin's Gulls, and 3 Black Terns among a nice variety of species (complete list below). Some shorebird habitat is present on the west side of the lake. Earlier in the morning I conducted a breeding bird survey on a private canyon property along the Snake R. south of Lewiston - I'll post results later. (American Avocets and Bonaparte's Gulls pictured at right.)

thanks, Charles.



===========================

Location: Mann Lake
Observation date: 6/5/09
Notes: Covered from main parking lot/boat ramp area and south side parking lot near model airplane club. Heat shimmer was fairly bad on the lake making scoping a bit tricky.
Number of species: 45

Gadwall 4 2 pairs
Mallard 20
Blue-winged Teal 1
Northern Shoveler 4
Green-winged Teal 2
Lesser Scaup 2
Ruddy Duck 3
California Quail 1
Pied-billed Grebe 1 calling on south side
Eared Grebe 5 possible breeder ??
Western Grebe 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Northern Harrier 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Sora 1 calling from marshy area near south parking area
American Coot 8
Killdeer 2
American Avocet 6
Spotted Sandpiper 3
Wilson's Phalarope 2
Bonaparte's Gull 4
Franklin's Gull 3
Ring-billed Gull 1
Black Tern 3
Rock Pigeon 15
Mourning Dove 6
Western Kingbird 1 entrance road
Eastern Kingbird 1
American Crow 1 appeared to be looking for nests to predate (seen carrying an egg at one point)
Tree Swallow 5
Violet-green Swallow 2
Bank Swallow 10
Cliff Swallow 1
Barn Swallow 2
American Robin 2
Gray Catbird 1
European Starling 10
Yellow Warbler 3
Savannah Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 3
Red-winged Blackbird 15
Yellow-headed Blackbird 3
Brewer's Blackbird 10
House Finch 2
House Sparrow 5

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

Moscow neighborhood breeders, 6/6/09



A morning walk around my east Moscow neighborhood highlighted by some interesting in-town breeders (and lots of the expected). Only migrants were a couple Western Tanager and a Black-headed Grosbeak which moved quickly off to the north. I had some fly over crossbills including possible White-winged - some flight calls were ambiguous.

thanks, Charles.



Location: Moscow - East City Area (centered on E. City Park)
Observation date: 6/6/09
Notes: Pleasantly cool and cloudy w/ increasing wind and light rain. Walked north as far as F St. (Water Tower Park) and then back on Garfield. Counts of robins, house sparrows, and house finches conservative.
Number of species: 25

Ring-necked Pheasant 2
California Quail 6
Swainson's Hawk 1 near water tower park (F & Orchard) probably nesting nearby
Mourning Dove 4
Vaux's Swift 2
Northern Flicker 2
Cordilleran Flycatcher 1 Lincoln & A Sts
American Crow 9
Violet-green Swallow 3
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 5
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1 Garfield & E Sts., presumed local breeder (uncommon breeder in town probably)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
American Robin 65
European Starling 25
Cedar Waxwing 2
Yellow Warbler 2
Western Tanager 2 presumed migrant
Black-headed Grosbeak 1 E. City Park, moving north, presumed migrant.
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
House Finch 20
Red Crossbill 15 Possible WW Crossbill fly-overs and in flock of ~15 crossbills
Pine Siskin 1
American Goldfinch 15
House Sparrow 30

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend birding around Latah County, ID


A few sightings of interest from the long weekend and select eBird lists below (photo: Grasshopper Sparrow, Paradise Ridge):














5/22 - I hiked the 1 mile paved trail along the upper Potlatch R. (near USFS LIttle Boulder Creek CG southeast of Deary, ID) w/ Iris where we found many of the typical breeding species for this locale. Had an FOY Cordilleran Flycatcher right at the bridge. A briefly seen Western Skink in the parking area was pretty cool. White Pelican and 2 Bald Eagles (adult & near adult) among others at Spring Valley Res. in the PM. Belted Kingfisher along Little Bear Ck. just east of Troy, ID at likely cut bank nesting area (also here last year).

5/24 - Family hike around Spring Valley Reservoir had most expected breeders for this locale incl. FOY Willow Flycatcher and loudly calling Sora. Afternoon nap drive farther east to East Fork Potlatch R. (east of Bovil, ID) where I found 2 American Redstarts, a Northern Waterthrush, and another Willow Flycatcher (which will be common here within the next few days) among others along this willow lined creek. This is probably the best location in Latah Co. for Redstarts and N. Waterthrush (at least the best known to date although Redstarts can be found elsewhere).

5/25 - Hiked w/ Kas Dumroese around his "back 40" on Paradise Ridge south of Moscow where we found the following sparrows - 1 Grasshopper, 2 Clay-colored, 1 Brewer's, and 2 Vesper along w/ many of the typical Palouse prairie species such as E. Kingbird, Lazuli Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock's Oriole, etc. A Rock Wren was a nice find here as well although Kas gets them annually at least in migration (although breeding seems possible at this location higher up on the ridge). The Clay-colored Sparrows were in the draw beyond the pines to the north of his house. I believe visitors are welcome, just contact Kas ahead of time at kas.dumroese@gmail.com.

thanks,
Charles.


==================================================================


Location: Little Boulder Ck Trail - Potkatch R.
Observation date: 5/22/09
Notes: Walk along paved trail w/ Iris is stroller most of the time. Also saw a Western Skink at the trailhead parking lot.
Number of species: 24

Ruffed Grouse 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Red-naped Sapsucker 1
Hammond's Flycatcher 12
Cordilleran Flycatcher 1
Cassin's Vireo 1
Warbling Vireo 3
Common Raven 1
Violet-green Swallow 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Yellow Warbler 10
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4
Townsend's Warbler 2
MacGillivray's Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 1
Western Tanager 2
Chipping Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 7
Dark-eyed Junco 1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

==================================================================

Location: Spring Valley Reservoir
Observation date: 5/24/09
Notes: Family hike around west side of lake. Muddy and buggy in places. Iris walked almost the entire trail except I carried her across the muddy parts. A nice variety of birds despite large # of holiday weekend visitors.
Number of species: 36

Canada Goose 25
Mallard 1
Ruddy Duck 4
Ruffed Grouse 1
Horned Grebe 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Osprey 1
Bald Eagle 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Coot 2
Spotted Sandpiper 4
California Gull 2
Hammond's Flycatcher 14
Dusky Flycatcher 5
Cassin's Vireo 5
Common Raven 3
Tree Swallow X
Violet-green Swallow X
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Mountain Chickadee 1
Brown Creeper 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 12
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4
Townsend's Warbler 3
Western Tanager 5
Spotted Towhee 2
Chipping Sparrow 5
Song Sparrow 8
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Black-headed Grosbeak 6
Red-winged Blackbird 8
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Pine Siskin 5

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

==================================================================

Location: Paradise Ridge West
Observation date: 5/25/09
Notes: Hiked w/ Kas around his back 40 to check out sparrows situation and inspect Palouse prairie remnants. CC Sparrows were fairly close to the his in the draw, heard & seen w/ some video.
Number of species: 40

Ring-necked Pheasant 2
California Quail 5
Great Blue Heron 2
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1
Killdeer 1
Mourning Dove 5
Black-chinned Hummingbird 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 2
Western Wood-Pewee 3
Eastern Kingbird 4
Black-billed Magpie 6
Tree Swallow 1
Violet-green Swallow 10
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Pygmy Nuthatch X
Rock Wren 1
House Wren 4
Western Bluebird 2
Mountain Bluebird 2
American Robin 5
European Starling 3
Orange-crowned Warbler 4
Wilson's Warbler 3
Spotted Towhee 4
Clay-colored Sparrow 2
Brewer's Sparrow 1
Vesper Sparrow 2
Grasshopper Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Black-headed Grosbeak 8
Lazuli Bunting 5
Western Meadowlark 5
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
Bullock's Oriole 5
Cassin's Finch 1
House Finch X
Red Crossbill 5
American Goldfinch 5

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Moscow neighborhood sightings, 5/22/09 - 5/24/09

image - Cedar Waxwings in our backyard apple tree.


Migrant activity has dropped off considerably in the past few days but plenty of birds are still to be found on the east side of Moscow. This morning I had another WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL - this time a lone male in a spruce on the south side of the Latah Co. Fairgrounds about 6 blocks south of my house. The only migrants this AM were a Wilson's Warbler in my yard and a couple of Dusky Flycatchers (another interesting empid. was left unidentified). I've included a complete list from my morning walk below although this is somewhat atypical as I walked farther (~2 miles) than usual (and as a result had to count more house sparrows, starlings, and house finches than usual which is a bother!).

On 5/22 I had another LEWIS'S WOODPECKER in the yard and have attached an image of that bird. Also in the past week we've had fledged young Great Horned Owls and I've attached an image of an adult and young bird that were just across the alley for a day or 2. Also of interest in the past couple days I've had 2 fly-overs of a WESTERN KINGBIRD (a new yard bird) which I presume is nesting somewhere to the south of us (although not at the fairgrounds which seemed a likely location). Finally the Cedar Waxwings have descended on our yard and have been devouring the flowers off our apple tree which just came into bloom this week.

Charles.


Location: Moscow - East Side (My Home) - 2 mile rt walk to southeast
Observation date: 5/24/09
Number of species: 30

Ring-necked Pheasant 3
California Quail 5
Great Blue Heron 2 - flying fairly high
American Kestrel 1
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 7
Vaux's Swift 2
Northern Flicker 2
Dusky Flycatcher 2
American Crow 6
Violet-green Swallow 4
Barn Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 3
Bewick's Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 5
American Robin 25
European Starling 25
Cedar Waxwing 15
Yellow Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 1
Chipping Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 2
Red-winged Blackbird 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 4
House Finch 20
White-winged Crossbill 1
Pine Siskin 8
American Goldfinch 7
House Sparrow 20

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Moscow migrant report, 5/21/09

Hi All -

Migrants are greatly reduced in town today after yesterdays nice push of birds. It was quieter around my house this morning and on a walk through the Shattuck Arboretum at noon. Some migrants were noted but in some cases by this date in town it's hard to determine migrant vs. local breeder. Some birds of interest noted this morning and my speculation on their status are listed below. It would be really interesting to study the ebb and flow of migration at a migrant trap like Basset park (Washtucna, Adams Co., WA). There must be a lot of existing Washtucna data - it would be great to get it into eBird and do some analysis.

Charles.

select species - east Moscow & Shattuck Arboretum, 5/21/09

Western Wood-Pewee - 1 calling on 7th St. in shady yard, migrant and local breeder in town
Warbling Vireo - probably migrants but may nest in town and has nested in UI Arboretum
Cassin's Vireo - probably migrant
Hermit Thrush - 1 AM, and 2 at Shattuck, migrants
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 7 found on walk around neighborhood this morning, all singing consistently from a localized area, appearing teritorial, will have to determine local breeding status this year!
Yellow Warbler - a pretty common breeder in town along Paradise Ck. & elsewhere, nested in my lilacs one year, presumed migrants noted in mixed flocks, or not behaving teritorially
Yellow-rumped Warbler - has probably nested in Shattuck Arboretum but also a common migrant w/ some birds coming through
Wilson's Warbler - migrants, typically trickle through until early June, most common migrant warbler after mid-May I'd guess
Western Tanager - probably migrants or non-breeders, commonly seen well into June in town
Black-headed Grosbeak - same as W. Tanager
Lazuli Bunting - migrants
Chipping Sparrow - just a few scattered, mostly migrants but nests around on the edge of town
Lincoln's Sparrow - 1 flew through my yard this AM, migrant


--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fwd: Moscow noon bird report, 5/20/09



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Charles Swift <chaetura@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, May 20, 2009 at 1:48 PM
Subject: Moscow noon bird report, 5/20/09
To: inland birders <inland-nw-birders@uidaho.edu>


Howdy -

Lots of birds still moving through Moscow at noon today. In an apartment parking lot (w/ trees!) in downtown Moscow just before 1:00 PM were BH Grosbeak, multiple Western Tanagers, mutiple Lazuli Buntings, Cassin's & Warbling Vireos, Orange-crowned Warbler, multiple Chipping Sparrows, etc. Also Cedar Waxwings have returned in good numbers just in the past few days (there seems to be a gap between the wintering birds dissapearance and breeders arrival). Also along Paradise Creek were Calliope Hummingbirds, Yellow Warblers, and Song Sparrows and plenty of Barn and Violet-green Swallows on campus. Will try around the house again when I get home!

Charles.

--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Moscow White-winged Crossbills, lots of migrants, 5/20/09

Hi All -

This chilly (low 40's) morning was great for migrants around my house and got even better when I found 5 White-winged Crossbills a couple blocks south of my house. There were 2 very nice adult males, 2 females, and a younger, streaky male. They were feeding in a deciduous tree w/ winged seeds (eating new buds I guess) along w/ several Red Crossbills, 3 Western Tanagers and 4 Black-headed Grosbeaks (an interesting combination). They were giving soft chut-chut calls. It was very sastifying to find these after several false alarms back in March and having flocks of crossbills flying over frequently the past few weeks.

As for migrants, warblers, Lazuli Buntings, tanagers, grosbeaks, and Chipping Sparrows (again) were the most common this morning. It's getting harder to get a good count w/ the trees (finally) leafing out but there were about 5 each of Yellow, Townsend's, and Wilson's Warblers, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, and Lazuli Buntings. There were about 50 Chipping Sparrows in and around the yard and also about 30 yesterday. There were lesser numbers of Hammond's (3) and Dusky (1) Flycatchers, 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers (all females), Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds, and a couple Ruby-crowned Kinglets. No new arrivals although I thought I heard a pewee at one point.

The continuing cool weather here seems to be keeping a lot of migrants in town. This is the best May for migrants here in Moscow I think I've had in several years.

thanks, Charles.


--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Monday, May 18, 2009

Benewah Co. report part #1 - Desmet Sewage Ponds , 5/17/09

I just noticed on Google Maps there are also sewage ponds in Tensed just a bit to the north although I can't tell if they are accessible. This area of southwestern Benewah Co. is very much like western Latah Co. w/ rolling Palouse hills merging into the "Hoo Doo" Range (as it's known locally).

Location:     Desmet Sewage Ponds
Observation date:     5/17/09
Notes:     The ponds were mostly scoped from the cemetery to the west (and some birds from that location are included). A group of 7 Ring-billed Gulls came in for a look just as I was leaving - about 4 of the 7 were 2nd year birds (hatched last year).
Number of species:     17

Gadwall     4
Cinnamon Teal     2
Northern Shoveler     5
Ruddy Duck     1
American Coot     8
Wilson's Phalarope     7
Ring-billed Gull     7
Northern Flicker     1
Tree Swallow     1
Barn Swallow     1
American Robin     1
European Starling     1
Common Yellowthroat     1
Chipping Sparrow     1
Red-winged Blackbird     10
Western Meadowlark     2
Yellow-headed Blackbird     6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Moscow area birds, 5/16/09

With this warm weather most of the migrants moved out of my neighborhood (and probably most of Moscow) overnight. I had loads of Chippings Sparrows as well as a smattering of vireos and warblers through yesterday afternoon right around my yard but it was pretty quiet this morning.

Sara de la Rue and I checked out Heron's Hideout and Bring Park in southeast Moscow this morning and had several interesting finds. The first is a restored natural area along Paradise Creek that I've been mostly checking in the fall for migrants. This morning we had a Wilson's Snipe displaying as if on territory and a couple of Yellow-headed Blackbirds in wet meadows & a small patch cattails. Also present were Yellow Warblers and Song Sparrows in the Willows and brush along Paradise Creek as they are elsewhere in town. The suprising find was a Lincoln's Sparrow singing from a yard on the edge of the wet meadow. Move this meadow a couple thousand feet higher and this would be fine breeding habitat for the species. We ended up w/ 27 species - not bad for right in town.

Later this afternoon I ventured north of Moscow (Iris suggested a car nap which was fine by me). A 15 mintute stop at the Viola Sewage Ponds yielded 22 species including a couple Spotted Sandipers (FOY), 2 Wilson's and 1 Red-necked Phalaropes among others. Like Syringa this spot can be virtually dead on some visits (although in mid May most stops are likely to produce something of interes!). From there we went north to Palouse, WA and the east back into Idaho and along the Palouse River. There were loads of swallows over the Palouse R. floodplain and a another likely singing Lincoln's Sparrow - surprising again to hear in migration (presumably).

thanks, Charles.

--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fwd: eBird Report - Spring Valley Reservoir , 5/15/09

A quick afternoon trip to Spring Valley Res. east of Moscow produced a California Gull - uncommon in the county but seemingly regular at this location at least in June and perhaps earlier in spring. Also a breeding plumage Horned Grebe and the usual suspects listed below. Syringa just on the eastern edge of Moscow failed to produce phalaropes but did have 7 species of waterfowl plus a bunch of coots (full list below). This small pair of ponds is often virtually devoid of waterbirds but at other times can be quite busy.

good bird'n!
Charles.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <do-not-reply@ebird.org>
Date: Fri, May 15, 2009 at 9:18 PM
Subject: eBird Report - Spring Valley Reservoir , 5/15/09
To: chaetura@gmail.com


Location:     Spring Valley Reservoir
Observation date:     5/15/09
Notes:     Quick trip to res. so Iris can nap in car. Despite time and lots of fisherfolk around lake a fair number of birds around incl. several year birds.
Number of species:     22

Canada Goose     25
Mallard     2
Northern Shoveler     2
Ruddy Duck     8
Horned Grebe     1
Great Blue Heron     2
Osprey     2
Red-tailed Hawk     1
American Coot     11
Killdeer     1
California Gull     1
Vaux's Swift     2
Calliope Hummingbird     1
Common Raven     2
Tree Swallow     5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     5
Yellow Warbler     1
Spotted Towhee     1
Song Sparrow     1
Red-winged Blackbird     8

Location:     Syringa Ponds
Observation date:     5/15/09
Number of species:     11

Canada Goose     2
Gadwall     1
American Wigeon     2
Mallard     1
Green-winged Teal     1
Bufflehead     3
Ruddy Duck     9
American Coot     11
Tree Swallow     2
Black-headed Grosbeak     1
Red-winged Blackbird     6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Fwd: eBird Report - Foothill Rd. ponds , 5/14/09



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Charles Swift <chaetura@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, May 15, 2009 at 8:21 AM
Subject: Fwd: eBird Report - Foothill Rd. ponds , 5/14/09
To: inland birders <inland-nw-birders@uidaho.edu>


Hi All -

I hit several wetlands north of Moscow yesterday afternoon. A few new species included Wilson's Phalarope and Common Yellowthroat at Foothill Rd. ponds (compete list below for that location) and several Soras calling spontaneously at the "Sora Spot" wetlands on Mountainview Rd. Also personal FOYs were Bank Swallow (a couple migrants at the Sora spot) and Blue-winged Teal. I've added 22 species to my Latah Co. year list just this week - there's nothing like spring migration and new arrivals!

The Red-tailed Hawks mentioned below are on nest just south of the ponds.

thanks. Charles.




Location:     Foothill Rd. ponds
Observation date:     5/14/09
Notes:     A nice variety of birds in 15 minutes in between rain showers including a few FOYs.
Number of species:     18

Canada Goose     2
Mallard     2
Cinnamon Teal     2
Green-winged Teal     2
Great Blue Heron     1
Red-tailed Hawk     2
American Coot     1
Wilson's Snipe     1
Wilson's Phalarope     3
Tree Swallow     3
Barn Swallow     1
American Robin     1
European Starling     3
Common Yellowthroat     1
Savannah Sparrow     1
Red-winged Blackbird     6
Yellow-headed Blackbird     2
Brewer's Blackbird     6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Fwd: eBird Report - Moscow - East Side (My Home) , 5/15/09



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Charles Swift <chaetura@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, May 15, 2009 at 7:53 AM
Subject: Fwd: eBird Report - Moscow - East Side (My Home) , 5/15/09
To: inland birders <inland-nw-birders@uidaho.edu>


Good Morning -

Another good morning for migrants here on the east side of Moscow- complete list below. Fewer birds in number and diversity and no new species with the most numerous being Hammond's Flycatchers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Chipping Sparrows. The House Wrens are gone (although there was one in the yard through the afternoon yesterday) so presumably were migrants. Only 1 unidentified hummingbird this morning so they seem to have moved on (only Black-chinned nests in my immediate vicinity). No Western Wood-Pewees yet which are normally expected by now - perhaps they are late as well. Hermit Thrushes (2-3) were singing in my yard this morning - nice!

thanks, Charles.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <do-not-reply@ebird.org>
Date: Fri, May 15, 2009 at 7:46 AM
Subject: eBird Report - Moscow - East Side (My Home) , 5/15/09
To: chaetura@gmail.com




Location:     Moscow - East Side (My Home)
Observation date:     5/15/09
Notes:     A good number of migrants again this morning but somewhat fewer in number and diversity and nothing new. Hermit Thrushes were in the yard, singing and calling. Most Chipping Sparrows were again at Apt. complex a block east of the house.
Number of species:     29

Ring-necked Pheasant     2
California Quail     1
Mourning Dove     1
Downy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     2
Hammond's Flycatcher     7
Dusky Flycatcher     2
Cassin's Vireo     3
Warbling Vireo     4
American Crow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     1
Red-breasted Nuthatch     2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     4
Hermit Thrush     3
American Robin     10
European Starling     9
Orange-crowned Warbler     1
Yellow Warbler     1
Yellow-rumped Warbler     8
Townsend's Warbler     2
Wilson's Warbler     3
Chipping Sparrow     60
Lazuli Bunting     3
Brown-headed Cowbird     2
House Finch     5
Red Crossbill     2
Pine Siskin     2
American Goldfinch     1
House Sparrow     1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Moscow, 5/14/09, big migrant movement, esp. Chipping Sparrows

Hi All -

Lots of migrants moving through Moscow this morning stalled out presumably by this strong front after favorable migration conditions overnight (and birds bottled up to our south). I had 34 species in an hour this morning in a couple blocks around my house (complete list below) w/ several new arrivals such Wilson's and MacGillivray's Warbler.

Especially evident this morning was a large number of Chipping Sparrows including a *huge* flock in the Heritage Grove in front of the UI Administration conservatively estimated at 250. I also had 60+ near my house and another ~80 in the Shattuck Arboretum. Also in the Shattuck were 3 more Hermit Thrushes, a Lincoln's Sparrow, and a smattering of other migrants.

I expect this wind may drop some shorebird as well. I'd be getting out to sheltered locations and shorebird spots to see what's around (just wish I could be out all morning!).

Charles.


Location:     Moscow - East Side (My Home)
Observation date:     5/14/09
Notes:     Great movement of migrants this morning. House Wrens (2) were new yard birds (somewhat amazingly). Hermit Thrushes were singing and 1 gave interesting towhee-like (zwhee) call and chuk notes.
Number of species:     34

Rock Pigeon     3
Mourning Dove     2
Black-chinned Hummingbird     1
Rufous Hummingbird     2
Downy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     4
Hammond's Flycatcher     4
Dusky Flycatcher     2
Cassin's Vireo     1
Warbling Vireo     1
American Crow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     1
Red-breasted Nuthatch     2
House Wren     4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     7
Hermit Thrush     2
American Robin     8
European Starling     15
Orange-crowned Warbler     1
Yellow-rumped Warbler     1
Townsend's Warbler     4
MacGillivray's Warbler     2
Wilson's Warbler     3
Western Tanager     4
Chipping Sparrow     60
White-crowned Sparrow     2
Black-headed Grosbeak     2
Lazuli Bunting     1
Brown-headed Cowbird     2
Cassin's Finch     1
House Finch     8
Pine Siskin     3
American Goldfinch     1
House Sparrow     5

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Moscow Lewis's Woodpecker, etc., 5/13/09


Hi All -

I had a Lewis's Woodpecker in one of the large Maple trees around my yard this yard this morning. Unfortunately when I ran into the house for the camera it disappeared. This is the second for my yard, also had one down the street in 2006. I think the Hoff's (a couple blocks away) get them from time to time in spring and they've showed up on campus before. Always nice to see.

[Another showed up in the yard on 5/22 and this time I had the camera at the ready and was able to get this image.]

Not much else in the way of migrants except 1 each Hammond's and Dusky Flycatchers (both vocalizing), 1 each Cassin's and Warbling Vireos, and a Townsend's Warbler singing somewhere nearby. A Rufous Humminbird has been in the lilacs since yesterday - attracted probably by the blooming Oregon Grape. I put a couple feeders up yesterday and saw him at it in the evening.

thanks, Charles.
--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Fwd: eBird Report - Wakodahatchee Wetlands , 5/6/09



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <do-not-reply@ebird.org>
Date: Thu, May 7, 2009 at 6:12 PM
Subject: eBird Report - Wakodahatchee Wetlands , 5/6/09
To: chaetura@gmail.com




Location:     Wakodahatchee Wetlands
Observation date:     5/6/09
Notes:     With Sam Hunter, Tshering Tsherpa, Deb, and Iris. A nice walk around the wetlands - first visit for me. Hot (mid 80's) but good cloud cover and nice breeze plus low humidity made it reasonable. Loads of birds - most Anhingas I've seen in one place! Only sort of miss was Little Ble Heron (where are they - nesting??) and generally low numbers of herons except for the few that were nesting there. The fairly low number of species made up by the high quality including a couple Least Bitterns and Purple Gallinules.
Number of species:     33

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck     5
Mottled Duck     2
Double-crested Cormorant     1
Anhinga     120     on nest w/ young
Least Bittern     2
Great Blue Heron     15     on nest w/ young
Great Egret     5     on nest
Snowy Egret     1
Tricolored Heron     25     on nest w/ downy young
Cattle Egret     5     on nest
Green Heron     5
White Ibis     7
Glossy Ibis     3
Black Vulture     1
Turkey Vulture     5
Osprey     1
Cooper's Hawk     1
Purple Gallinule     2
Common Moorhen     70     many young including some downy young
Black-necked Stilt     4
Least Tern     2
Eurasian Collared-Dove     25
White-winged Dove     1
Mourning Dove     2
Chimney Swift     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     1
Blue Jay     1
Fish Crow     10
Purple Martin     2
Northern Mockingbird     2
Northern Cardinal     1
Red-winged Blackbird     20
Boat-tailed Grackle     80

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fwd: Moscow birds, 4/30/09



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Charles Swift <chaetura@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 3:05 PM
Subject: Moscow birds, 4/30/09
To: inland birders <inland-nw-birders@uidaho.edu>


Hi All -

Not much going on migrant-wise in Moscow as it's been most of April. The UI Arboreta were fairly quiet today as they've been most days that I visited the past few weeks - just a few kinglets of both species, WC Sparrows, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler or 2. I did have a couple singing Nashville Warblers on the way in to work this morning and have had a few Cassin's Vireos, RC Kinglets, and YR Warblers around my house fairly regularly in the past couple of weeks.

This morning I had a flock of some 25 Red Crossbills in my yard which was pretty exciting. They were initially picking at buds on Maple and Apple trees and then later coming in to the feeders. Also w/ the crossbills at the feeders was at least 1 Cassin's Finches, a siskin, and a number of goldfinches, not to mention the ever-present House Finches - a very finchy morning at our place. Red Crossbills are pretty regular fly overs here but they don't often stop in the yard and have only visited the feeders a few times while we've lived in Moscow. I was able to stufy the crossbills pretty carefully and there were no juveniles w/ female types out numbering males. The adult (or near adult) males varied in intesnsity of red and some had yellow in a few places. My early morning yard surveys are paying off!

Good bird'n,

Charles.

--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com



--
Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura@gmail.com