Bird Sightings for Oct 2023

Oct 21 Walked thru the pasture to the river just before dawn looking for Sandhill Cranes. There were about 50 feeding in the pasture the day before. But today they just flew over and never landed. Counted between 50 – 75 in small groups for about 30 minutes. Attached is a photo with an adult flying with a juvenile. – Jan Wilson

Oct 20 White-Breasted Nuthatch It’s still sticking around. – Richard Mousel

Oct 16 I received one more route to check out.  Tuesday looks to be too windy.  I was hoping to explore another winter raptor survey route Wednesday or Thursday this week.  Maybe Saturday.  The routes vary between 65 – 85 miles in length.  They all involve driving transects in an area that might host over wintering raptors.  The surveys are done in the months of December, January and February, once each month. – Beth Hill

If anyone is interested in exploring another route this week, let me know, and which day works best.  We’d be heading out about 8 am.  Where we meet up depends on which route is driven.  Expect to finish early in the afternoon.  Last week we finished an 80 mile trip at about 1:30 pm. – Beth Hill

Oct 16 there are about two dozen pheasants in the wheatfield adjacent to my pasture this a.m.  roosters, hens, and young I hope they don’t tear up the sprouting wheat – Bev Axelsen

Oct 14 We were totally surprised by the sudden dense fog as we got within 1/4 mile of Valier.  The fog lasted well past 11 am but made viewing the eclipse a weird experience.  We could see it easily because we didn’t have to fight the sun glare.  It also made viewing birds on the lake difficult at best until after 11 am.  Even so, there were quite a few loons.  We stopped at the lighthouse area first then visited it last when we could see better.  A couple of late birds – like the juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron and a pair of female Yellow Headed Blackbirds were a bit of a surprise.  The Snow Geese and Trumpeter Swans were a nice addition.  The numbers of waterfowl on the water seemed low.  (Eureka Reservoir water level was extremely low).  We saw some cool birds and had a good time. Take a look at our trip report.

Oct 11 I had 3 mountain chickadees bouncing around when I took a neighborhood walk this morning.  A new neighborhood bird.  And some Canadian Snowbirds, oh wait, those are jets. – Beth Hill

Oct 14 Just had a new Yardbird, a White breasted Nuthatch. – Richard Mousel

Oct 09  It was a very good year with 421 Mountain Bluebirds fledged, the Tree Swallows were down a bit this year with 111 fledged. It was also a great year for Mountain Chickadees with a tally of 40 fledged and lastly we had 31 House Wrens fledge. Sure missed Dan Bennett driving, I hope his health improves, Thank you Dan for all the years you’ve driven, it sure helps. Another Thank you to Beth who drove me a couple times this summer. The total Birds fledged was 603 and the Mountain Bluebirds was 421. An excellent tally. – Richard Mousel

Oct 08 Just had a Mountain Chickadee visit our fountain for a drink. I’m very surprised to see one this early.  – Richard Mousel

Oct 07 This morning Velda and I took a practice run on a proposed winter raptors survey route on the Fairfield Bench.   We drove about 90 miles on the route itself.  It covered a good portion of the bench because of the back and forth nature of the route.  We made notes about roads that might be poor in wet conditions (quite a few).  We saw a few unexpected birds – a group of pipits on a power line, 29 killdeer in one pot hole that was drying up, a belted kingfisher, more starlings and house sparrows than you can shake a stick at and one flock of “black birds” that was actually more Brewer’s and Red-winged blackbirds than starlings.  Oh – and there were raptors, red-tailed hawk and northern harriers with a possible merlin (5 and 6 respectively).  One field had 3 harriers, the male was almost courtship flying with one of the two females.  2 more routes to check out before the snow flies.- Beth Hill and Velda Baltrusch

Oct 07 Great Egret second night seen at West Bank.  Probably could see from east river drive as well.  May be there other times.  I’ve just been there in the evenings. – Beth Hill

Oct 04 We have had numerous Pine Siskins, White-crowned Sparrows, Juncos and one lone RW Blackbird working on the sunflowers that I hung from the feeder poles in the yard.  Also had a flock of several hundred blackbirds swirling around a couple of days ago.  All we could observe of those were Brewers. – Beth Hill

Oct 03 I walked through a cow pasture that was on the Riverdale Ranch Conservation easement and flushed about 20 American pipits. I was headed towards the Missouri looking for Sandhill cranes when 5 flew over me. Did not see any on my side of the river but heard their sounds on the other side. Spotted a Bald eagle fishing. – Jan Wilson

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