20 January 2008

Tundra Swans and My New Camera

Today I birded with Stephanie Cobbold and Sarah Mohlman. We started with one more attempt for Craig Fosdick's White-throated Sparrow, which I missed again. I think I'm giving up on this bird. It is supposed to be hanging out in an area pretty close to my house, so I keep going back for it, but I think this was my fifth failed attempt, which is getting ridiculous.
Next we went to the 20-20 ponds, where I added my only new bird of the day, a small family of Tundra Swans. We saw a bunch of other cool birds here, including two Bald Eagles, a Sharp-shinned Hawk being mobbed by Brewer's Blackbirds, and Sarah's lifer Canvasbacks. After the ponds, we drove around the valley a bit, from Mendon to Benson, primarily on the lookout for Horned Lark flocks. We found about five different flocks with an average of about 20 birds each, but couldn't find anything other than Horned Larks in the flocks. I also photographed the Western Meadowlark above while we were searching for Horned Larks.

Finally, we drove up Logan Canyon to try for a Winter Wren where we had looked on the January 1st trip. We saw Townsend's Solitaire, American Dipper, and Common Goldeneyes here, but no wrens. I also got a poor look at a jay flying away, but I wasn't able to relocate it when it landed and from the looks I got I couldn't be certain what species it was, although I suspect it was a Steller's Jay. It's too bad I missed that bird, because I don't have any jays yet this year, but on the other hand I am not too worried about finding them later.

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