28 Sep Howdy Just to let everyone know. Beth, Alex and I setup a birdfeeder at Giant Springs. We set it up in the lawn next to the bridge. – Richard Mousel
27 Sep Because of the low river level while they work on the dam (and the hatchery) I noticed a lot of gulls and killdeer on the mud yesterday. So today, I paid particular attention to the gulls downstream (below the hatchery). I just “knew” I should ﬁnd a gull that was not a Ring-billed Gull. Sure enough, it just jumped right out even though there were at least 300 Ringbills walking around. It was a slightly larger, but almost white gull with pink legs, dark eye, brown wing and tail markings (not black at all). Even though it closely matched a second-year Iceland Gull (by markings) structurally it looked like a Ring-billed Gull. Structure is a huge part of identifying gulls. In addition, if you look at the size it is nearly the same size as adjacent gulls. An Iceland Gull would be noticeably larger. I spotted it early in the morning. I went back with my husband at 11 am and we quickly re-found it – attacking crayﬁsh right and left. It had a good appetite for those crunchy morsels.
There were at least 12 or more Killdeer. At least one Great Yellowlegs. I couldn’t ﬁnd any other shore- birds, but I’ll look again tomorrow. – Beth Hill
26 Sep We drove the old highway between Ulm and Cascade this morning to check for cranes. We found them in the usual ﬁeld 2.8 miles from the entrance road to the Dunes FAS. Got to the ﬁeld about 9 AM and counted 100 cranes visible from our vantage point. We watched and counted for the next 55 minutes as cranes continued to ﬂy in and settle in the ﬁeld. By 9:55 we were up to just over 300. A few left during that time but not many. At 9:55 someone gave the signal and they started lifting oﬀ in groups of 3 to 25 or more. By 10:10 there were still some cranes left in the ﬁeld but not huge numbers. It was a great show! – Kitty & Kris Knaphus
27 Sep Thanks Kitty for this excellent report! i drove to your spot this morning and there they were, on both sides of the road. we watched for 30 minutes then drove back to Ulm and headed up Beth’s raptor (river road) route. found 50 more cranes in a ﬁeld to the right just before Lil Valley farm. hope to go back to both spots Thursday morning. Jan Wilson
I also went to your spot this morning about 9:30 and counted 150 Sandhill Cranes in the meadow across the RR tracks on the east side. By 10 there only a few left, just as you described. Wayne Phillips
27 Sep (We) have our ﬁrst Junco of the Fall. – Richard Mousel
24 Sep We saw a ﬂock of 23 wild turkeys on our way into town this morning. They were about half way between Ulm and River Road junction.
I’ve been meaning to report on the 3 Osprey nest platforms we watch. All 3 had pairs this year but the middle nest was abandoned by the middle of June. The other two (Ulm FAS and River Road) produced 2 suc- cessfully ﬂedged young each. Kitty & Kris Knaphus
19 Sep Went to Giant Springs this evening, besides the Chickadees and Flickers I spotted a couple of White-throated Sparrows and a ﬂock of Goldﬁnches with the ﬂedglings begging for food. Also saw a couple of Cedar Waxwings. The highlight of the trip was a pair of Great Horned Owls, with the male feeding on a squirrel, was surprised to see that in the early evening. Found the owls because they were hooting, didn’t ﬁnd them earlier because they were in the Cottonwoods. –Richard Mousel