I did some scouting today for eBird’s upcoming Global Big Day on Saturday. White-faced Ibis and a Spotted Sandpiper continue at Bar-D Reservoir (aka Ingram’s Pond). Also a Wilson’s Phalarope was working along the back edge near the ibis. The loud songs of the Yellow-headed Blackbirds almost drowned out the whinny of a Sora.
Driving south of Arentson Gulch was interrupted first by three Pronghorns that could not decide which side of the road they wanted to be on. They crossed back and forth four times in front of me. After finally getting past them, I was stopped again – this time by a large herd of cattle coming right down the highway. The cowboys kept them moving but it was a good reminder to pay attention to the road while driving rather than look for birds!
I decided to venture up Birch Springs Road to the trailhead for Mt. Borah. Singing Horned Larks, Sage Thrashers, and Vesper Sparrows were in the sagebrush scrub, replaced by singing Cassin’s Finches, Dark-eyed Junco, and Chipping Sparrows at the forested trailhead/campground area. On the drive out, I got an all-too-brief look at an Ash-throated Flycatcher and was able to snap one poor photo before it disappeared. (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36725474)
Compared to last week, Mackay Reservoir had less waterfowl but more sparrow activity with singing Brewer’s and Lark Sparrows. I could not find a single Osprey after seeing four there before. Two Tundra Swans, three Caspian Terns, and a couple of White-faced Ibis were hanging out at the north end with a bunch of gulls.
House Wrens are in with two singing at the state park in Challis and another at the Mackay Reservoir dam. It seems that once I see or hear a new spring bird, it pops up everywhere in the next few days.