Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sawtooth Valley Idaho

This weekend Karyn and I traveled to the Sawtooth Valley in central Idaho. This is one of our favorite places, which is why 12 years ago we got married there. We will be returning in a few weeks to celebrate our anniversary. Here's a photo that she took of the Sawtooth mountains.

The bird watching was great. We identified 31 species, but could have had more if we were better at identification. Within this 31, were 9 new IDs to be added to my life list. This is a remarkably large number for life birds, primarily because I have only been building my list over the past year (now up to 108). I expect it to get increasingly harder to identify 9 new birds in a weekend!

Driving through Lower Stanley, a large town of 43 people, we spied this Bald Eagle on the fence across the river.

We camped along the Salmon River. Of all the bird watching on the weekend, our camp was the most productive place. 18 of the 31 birds were seen from our camp! We watched Osprey on two different occasions, dive for fish right in front of our camp. One was successful! We had three types of woodpeckers in our camp - a Northern Flicker, A Red-naped Sapsucker (photo) and Hairy Woodpecker (photo).

Western Tanagers were flying around constantly, but would not hold still long enough for me to capture a good photo (I have a few bad photos!). The Yellow-rumped Warbler was singing for us regularly, but difficult to find, although we did see it on three occasions. All in all a great weekend.

Here is the list for the weekend (new life bird in bold): Grouse, Spruce; Quail, California; Goose, Canada; Goldeneye, Common; Merganser, Common; Sapsucker, Red-naped; Sapsucker, Williamson's; Woodpecker, Hairy; Flicker, Northern; Kingfisher, Belted; Nighthawk, Common; Crane, Sandhill; Sandpiper, Spotted; Killdeer; Osprey; Eagle, Bald; Magpie, Black-billed; Nutcracker, Clark's; Crow, American; Raven, Common; Bluebird, Mountain; Robin, American; Starling, Common; Gnatcatcher, Blue-grey; Swallow, Tree; Swallow, Violet-green; Swallow, Cliff; Warbler, Yellow-rumped; Tanager, Western; Blackbird, Red-winged; Blackbird, Brewer's.

This article is features in I and the Bird #26 blog carnival.

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