Sunday, November 15, 2009

Winter Birding the Boise Area - Part II

Here are my recommendations for some great winter birding locations around the Boise area:

Hyatt Wetlands

Located on Maple Grove, between Chinden and McMillan in Boise, the Hyatt Wetlands is an old gravel pit turned riparian oasis. Watch for various types of grebes and ducks. Also watch for Virginia Rails, even in the dead of winter. I've seen them there on New Year's day.

View Hyatt Wetlands, Boise Idaho in a larger map

Kathryn Albertson & Ann Morrison Parks

Two adjacent parks near downtown Boise near the Boise River. Wood Ducks are normally abundant at Kathryn Albertson Park, along with Mergansers, and all the other ducks. Varied Thrushes have also been known to winter here. After you've exhausted all the winter birds here, cross the street to Ann Morrison Park. Here you can see a variety of gulls too, but pay special attention to the flocks of American Wigeons feeding on the grass. If one sticks out having red heads you've found yourself a Eurasian Wigeon.

View Kathryn Alberston Park in a larger map

View Ann Morrison Park, Boise Idaho in a larger map

Two Rivers community, Eagle

This neighborhood has 23 huge ponds surrounded by wonderful dense landscaping. I like to drive to the westernmost sections to look for Hooded Mergansers, Tundra Swans, Goldeneye, and Ring-necked Ducks.

View Two Rivers, Eagle ID in a larger map

Dry Lakes, South of Nampa

This is where I had my first lessons in Tundra & Trumpeter Swan identification. There are also lots of Pintail, Lesser Scaup, and a dozen others.

View Dry Lake Area, Nampa ID in a larger map

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge - Lake Lowell, Nampa

Look for Loons and all of the other waterfowl. One New Year's day we saw two dozen Bald Eagles feeding on ducks out on the ice.
Hidden Hollow Landfill (Ada Co) and Pickle Butte (Canyon County)

The dump is actually a great place to hone your gull identification skills. Last winter I believe eight or more species of gulls were identified at local landfills, including some rarities.

View Hidden Hollow Landfill in a larger map

View Pickle Butte Landfill in a larger map

Where are your favorite places for winter birdwatching?

1 comment:

  1. It is time for me to get out and viewing the birds. I will start earnestly in Dec after all the hunts are over for us.