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December 24th, 2015
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Sulphur Springs Valley

What a nice way to spend Christmas Eve, birding and photographing our way around the Sulphur Springs Valley.

Kansas Settlement:

One of the regular wintering FERRUGINOUS HAWKS along Arzberger Rd was particularly cooperative today.

Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk

Faira Diary Pond:

A couple of WESTERN GREBES on the pond were the only notable birds, but we did accidentally flush an unseen roosting BARN OWL from the pines, which pitched up in the barn over the road looking annoyed. Sorry!

Western Grebes

Barn Owl

The Granites:

This beautiful area in the foothills of the Swisshelm Mountains east of Elfrida is a good spot for Black-chinned Sparrow, but we couldn’t find them today. We did add quite a few species of this rocky slope habitat, including MONTEZUMA QUAIL.

The Granites

W Grants Rd, near McNeal:

There were at least seven SAGEBRUSH SPARROWS in the small patch of sagebrush habitat north of Coffman Rd, and a showy BENDIRE’S THRASHER nearby.

Sagebrush Sparrow

Sagebrush Sparrow

Sagebrush Sparrow

Bendire's Thrasher

Bendire's Thrasher

Brewer's Sparrows

Whitewater Draw:

The SANDHILL CRANE show was the best I’ve seen this winter.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

The YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD roost was almost as good.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

Whitewater Draw is such a great place, especially late afternoon. I love it!

Great Blue Heron

Northern Harriers

Whitewater Draw

Whitewater Draw

Whitewater Draw

 

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