Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some cool mid-day birding

I went to visit my boss's new home in Meridian. Its on a two acre lot filled with all kinds of trees. The previous owner must have loved birds as the variety of trees supplies food for a variety of birds. Not to mention the corn and sunflower garden put in specifically for the birds. I'm told that he used to raise and release Ring-necked Pheasants and Chukar and that you can see them around the yard in the evening when they come into roost. There is even a small pond full of wild ducks.

Anyway, as I was walking up the drive I was so distracted by all the bird activity I barely spent any time walking through the home. There was so much bird activity that I got a little sensory overload and had to calm myself down and focus on one bird at time. The trees were teaming with American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, House Finches, House Sparrows, a couple of Warbler species, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and my favorite bird of the day...the cute little spectacled Cassin's Vireo. It was only my second time seeing them in Idaho and only my 4th or 5th time ever. I watched it for a long time as it ate bugs. I saw 16 species there in just a matter of minutes. What a great yard!

Since I was in town and I had a few minutes before the Building Contractors Association meeting, I popped over to the Hyatt Wetlands in Boise. This is a great little birding hotspot, but very under-birded. It has a few groves of trees, sage brush, and a shallow marsh and lake with great hill-top viewing sheds. There is a nice little trail all the way around the place. A great spot for wintering waterfowl and the site of my first ever Virginia Rail. The Hyatt Wetlands are off of Maple Grove, between Chinden and McMillan. There were 21 species there that I counted including Ring-billed Duck, Gadwalls, Pied-billed and Eared Grebes.

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