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Old 03-25-2020, 01:35 PM   #10041
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And I actually do have the first book you referenced, and a hummingbird book as well, since in my area we have at least three different types that frequent the feeders.
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:29 PM   #10042
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:17 PM   #10043
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Good to see some new, recent posters. I really enjoy this thread and must admit it has brought a smile to my face during these trying times.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:30 PM   #10044
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Thanks for all the info! Sierra Vista is around 5,600' level, they stay relatively cool,
What's relatively cool? Only 108?
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:17 PM   #10045
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Most of my research anymore is done on the internet though, these days, with websites like these:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org
https://ebird.org
Here was an interesting link my cousin posted on FB ...50 Bird Species and the Sounds They Make

birdsounds.JPG
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Old 03-26-2020, 03:38 AM   #10046
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Good to see some new, recent posters. I really enjoy this thread and must admit it has brought a smile to my face during these trying times.
Well said.....................
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:06 AM   #10047
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Here was an interesting link my cousin posted on FB
It looks like fun, though for field ID you want something more regional. If I hear a Puffin, we got some real problems up in Wyoming...

Yesterday I headed over The Bighorns on a sparrow quest! I was supposed to go out for an owl count last evening, but had to put it off a day or two. I woke up and we had a little mini snow squall come through. The sun came out, but there has been a cloud parked up on the mountain for a few days. Once you clear the switch backs going up highway 14, it clears up.



This area of the Bighorns is called Kaufman's Tomb by locals, though I can't find any reference to why. I don't know if that was some explorer who named it or if someone is actually buried up there somewhere.





My isolation destination, an area north of Greybull. The "road" is an old two gravel track through sage going to nowhere.



I don't know where it goes, because the bridge is way out. The dry creek that runs under it is deceptively deep. It looks like a wide bottom but there is about a 5'x5' sink at the bottom. There is a dug out road a bit down from this that you could probably make it through with a very, very jacked up rig. I almost tried it last year but decided discretion was the better part of valor. Since then, it's gotten even deeper. Whenever I'm sitting alone contemplating my driving future, somewhere out there Mike gets a little twitch and doesn't know why.



It's a neat area for artifacts of all kinds. Just found stuff. For a million years folks have gone out there shooting cans, bottles, etc. Sometimes things just present themselves as is.





Birding doesn't usually happen like this, I'm probably 50/50 on this spot, but my quarry was the Sagebrush Sparrow. It's maybe my second favorite sparrow visually and tops for sparrow song. As I dropped in off the highway, within 1/4 mile I could hear the song.



There were two males close to each other singing away!





I drove on to the bridge area where I heard a 3rd. It was across the draw, and while I did try to video the singing for a few seconds, it's shaky and short, so I'm including the link to the bird's song instead.

Last year while camping at the Firehole area south of Rock Springs this is the song that woke me up in the morning.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...Sparrow/sounds

That and some asshole's generator.

I went back east through Greybull again. The A&W drive in was open. I got a root beer float and tipped well for being open and trying to stay open.

Not much left in Greybull, but there are some great old building along the rail area, a few shops and an old hotel downtown. Unfortunately last year the old western wear store with its classic sign went down.











A little Greybull history....
http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/bighorn.html
https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/greybull-hotel
https://www.greybullstandard.com/201...ing-its-doors/

I don't think the airplane museum is ever open.
https://www.yellowstonepark.com/road-trips/greybull-wy

https://www.bbgeoscience.org/

Going back to the mountains, I detoured to the Red Gulch Rd and Dinosaur Tracks area.





This is supposed to be a dino track, but



Well, it's only five miles off the main road, the scenery is amazing, and I found the first Loggerhead Shrike of spring!



Also a few Western Meadowlarks singing



The butte looking formation is Hart Mountain



Up in the mountains again, I stopped at Shell Falls. The area is still closed for winter, after only being open again for a year following a year or two of closures for work. It's suffered as well from budget cuts a time or two. What's sad is you can park outside the gate and just walk around, so it's too bad they can't just open the parking lot and let people do just that either way. It's really quite stunning.







Hey, a Clark's Nutcracker! It's call sounds like the emergency weather alerts on the teevee!



Still a lot of snow around Burgess Junction



And here comes the cloud again!



No fear! 7 miles of foggy switchbacks!




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Old 03-26-2020, 08:18 AM   #10048
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Wow!
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:21 AM   #10049
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Update on the tomb name...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wyojon...rWZPaIc6Qn56kI
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:57 PM   #10050
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It looks like fun, though for field ID you want something more regional. If I hear a Puffin, we got some real problems up in Wyoming...
Yeah, that or a Loon could be a bad sign.

They didn't have enough space for all a mockingbird could say on that chart.
My favorite is when the cats are out and they first notice and send their warning.
"Ghaaat" probably the basis for both the words Cat and Gato(a).
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Old 03-26-2020, 03:10 PM   #10051
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but we do get loons here! Common, and various other rarer sightings, Pacific, Yellow-billed...
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:11 AM   #10052
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T great pics and comments. Wonderful
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:55 AM   #10053
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Thanks Eddie!
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Old 03-28-2020, 08:55 AM   #10054
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Stardate 2020 March...the sagas continue...

Thursday was rest day, a bit, then a friend came over and we walked the neighborhood fixing as many bird boxes as we could find, about a dozen or so. Most of them are pretty old. A couple of been usurped by mice. One had a live mouse in it, which cause me to squeak when it jumped out, so we left that one alone. A second was so saturated with mouse urine we just pulled it down.

Do you have bird boxes near you? If you are in the south, they are probably in use already, but further north now is a good time to go out and do some cleaning and repairs. Take both a Phillips and flathead screwdriver, some good long screws, a few big nails, a hammer, a cordless drill if you have one, something to scrape or sweep the debris out with, and a bit of diluted bleach and water solution to kill off any bacteria or parasites. It's okay to clear out years of twigs and nesting material. The birds will fill the boxes up until they can't even get in them anymore, and are happy to start over.



My resident Blue Jay. Blue Jays are making their way farther and farther West. A few years ago, they were pretty rare in Wyoming. Now they are mostly year around residents in the south and eastern part of the state, and starting to show up in places like Jackson and Rock Springs.



Yesterday it was time to get on the owl surveys, but first a 2.5 mile walk around Kleenburn WHMA. No one around the still frozen pond, though a couple of guys were shooting just to the west.

My first bug of the year! Badlands Tiger Beetle, I think. I try to ID neat bugs too, but try to not get too wrapped around the axle about it like I do with birds.



The Tongue River is flowing, no ice left.



A little



It was strangely not very bird out there. We are between waves. The Mountain Bluebirds, Red-winged Blackbirds and Western Meadowlarks have come in. Up next should be Swallows, then all through April more arriving, but even still there wasn't many of the usual suspects about.

Anyway, a Red-tailed Hawk showing off its namesake.



And a Song Sparrow giving a good look at its spot, which is a good diagnostic (though it's not alone in the spot).



Around 5:15 we headed east to our first owl survey. Each year, now year four I think, I do 1-3.5 routes. This is the group we do the survey for, out of the University of Idaho.

https://www.avianknowledgenorthwest....ort-eared-owls

You can read more about what they do, why and the results in the link. It's always an adventure. I usually try to do only one or two, and each route you visit twice, but somehow I end up taking on more than that every year. Usually because someone can't make it. Last night's route I gave up to someone who is following the do not leave home orders, and the one I'm doing tonight I'm supposed to be going with someone who has an SO with immune issues, so...it's Mike and I again. The funny thing is, while I've seen these owls in WY and MT, it's never been on one of these surveys. I keep telling myself zero is still data in science!

The funny thing here is, the cows were ignoring us until Mike put on his Broncos hat...



A herd of turkeys!



Another Red-tailed Hawk, our only raptor last night. Again, pretty unusual.



And sometime you just have to appreciate the common. American Robin. Shots are tough because we start just before dusk. Most of the owl sightings on these routes happens at the last 2-3 stops, as it starts to get true dark.



It's a pretty route, but very much ranched. So far this year no having to explain what we are doing to one-eyed ranchers with three legged dogs, or being asked by a drunk if we're liberals (just some advice, the proper response to this queston is "I bet I own more guns than you do" and don't smile as you say it), but I did have someone in a truck with a horse trailer haul ass by about 55 mph.













My Grandma Tilly used to "stamp" when she saw a white horse, for luck. My uncle tells me the actual tradition was to lick your thumb, stamp it in your other palm, and say "My horse!" and the person with the most horses at the end of the ride won. Not sure what they won.



Anyway, no owl luck last night. Wish us luck again tonight.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:01 AM   #10055
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This thread deserves to be re-titled okaugust's gallery.
Awesome.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:16 AM   #10056
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I really would like to encourage everyone to post more! One thing I've found to be true is the more you take, the better you get. Hopefully.
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:59 AM   #10057
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Here's a few shots from Amsterdam.
I've been spending time there in December the last few years.

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Old 03-28-2020, 12:01 PM   #10058
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This is outside the hotel early in the morning - a little Photoshop tweak.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:13 PM   #10059
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Nice!!!
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:42 PM   #10060
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This was something - I just looked up and noticed the moon, grabbed the shot and walked on. Later on I was pleased how well it worked in those conditions.
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