Birding Trips · Lifer

Catching Up – Birding Big Day

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten around to posting.  Things have been nuts with wrapping up the school year and some Big C’s activities lately.  It’s also been a little crazy with adding LIFERS!!

First, there has been a decent amount of rain lately, which has led to some flooding in a field near the town where I teach.  On my way to/from work I had been seeing all kinds of things there.  One day I saw several Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, as well as Blue-winged Teal and Wood Ducks.  These were all visible from the road without any optics.  I finally remembered to grab my camera one day, and I snapped a few quick photos (I had to shoot from the road because there was nowhere to pull over).  I got home and checked out my photos, and sure enough there was a Spotted Sandpiper!  That was a lifer for me.  I also got shots of Yellowlegs and what I believe to be a Baird’s Sandpiper.

Yesterday was Global Big Day, encouraged by Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  In the morning we ran to Salina and found about 50 shorebirds in a flooded field right along the road.  I love that shorebirds usually aren’t too skittish, and we were able to get some good photos.  I ended up getting several LIFERS out of that stop, also.  I’m sure I’ve seen some of them before, but I’m starting to get better at identifying shorebirds to confirm the various species now.  We saw Stilt Sandpipers, White-rumped Sandpipers, Pectoral sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, and Semipalmated Sandpipers.  Almost all of them were lifers for me!

Hubby and I had a sitter later in the day so we could attend my high school’s graduation, and we went birding afterwards and then out for dinner.  It was a great day, and we got some more lifers on that trip.  We visited Herington Reservoir (the old lake only), and the birding was great.  Hubby saw his first Orchard Oriole (I’ve seen them before), and we got a good look at both the male and female.  We found shorebirds at the spillway (4 Spotted Sandpipers, 5 Least Sandpipers, and 4 Semipalmated Sandpipers), Baltimore Orioles as well as Orchard Orioles (lifer for Hubby), Black-Capped Chickadees, an Indigo Bunting, and Northern Rough-Winged Swallows (another LIFER)!

Further around the lake, we saw Yellow Warblers, Warbling Vireo, and Black & White Warbler (LIFER!).  We also saw lots of both Eastern & Western Kingbirds & Meadowlarks, a variety of sparrows, Northern Cardinals, Northern Mockingbirds, and all the regulars (Robins, Grackles, Starlings, etc.).  Everywhere we went we saw lots of Barn & Cliff Swallows as well.  We even saw some Wild Turkeys in addition to Turkey Vultures.  There weren’t really any waterfowl present, though we did see a couple Great Blue Herons.

When all was said and done, I scored 7 LIFERS for the day, and had a great day birding.  It’s so much easier to do without children!

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