Monday, June 24, 2013

More From the Great Basin

When you are outside all day, every day, you will run into cool stuff. Because we are camping in remote areas and doing our research on birds and butterflies, we are outside constantly. The benefit is that eventually most of those "harder to find" birds will show themselves at one point or another. A few days ago, while out on an afternoon stroll, Kevin found a female Sooty Grouse (Dusky doesn't make it into the Sierra Nevada mountain range where this was photographed). We have been hearing a lot of Sooty Grouse, but this is the first one I got to see.

Sooty Grouse
Then, Kevin struck again with news of some Lewis's Woodpeckers in a canyon he had just surveyed. After completing our butterfly surveys, we all spent the afternoon watching three adult Lewis's Woodpeckers feeding young at a nest. It was amazing watching them hawk for insects to feed their young. I haven't seen many of these birds, so it was an awesome experience for me!

Lewis's Woodpecker en route to nest
I had yet to get a picture of a Green-tailed Towhee (one of the most common breeders out here... guess I've been lazy), so when this one popped up right in front of me, photographing it seemed like the right thing to do.

Green-tailed Towhee
I also have photos and voice recordings of a Gray Flycatcher, but that will have to wait until I have better internet.

Three more closer to 500! And with a three or four day weekend coming up, Kevin and I are heading to the California Coast! Santa Barbara is our destination. Hopefully I can clean up a few more California specialties. Island Scrub-Jay comes to mind...Our break starts Thursday or Friday, so check back soon.

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