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Shipman's field notes, Jul 2008


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2008-07-04: NM: Socorro: 507 Fitch

@home: Socorro: 507 Fitch
Thrasher, Curve-billed @Socorro: 507 Fitch
Vocalizations: 'whick-whick'

2008-07-15: WY: Colorado-Rawlins-Meeteetse

@Rawlins: Rawlins
@day: Colorado-Rawlins-Meeteetse
Gull, California @Rawlins
Parking lot near Subway on the east side of town.

2008-07-16: WY: Meeteetse area

@Mee: Meeteetse area
@SunR: Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Observed one or two unbearably cute young Raccoons; they were only about 6" long and had rounded faces and short ears. Lacking good sense, they fled the ATV straight down the track, so I had to slow down to avoid flattening them.
Merganser, Common 1i @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Description: A downy chick, boldly marked. See photos.
Behavior: Making good progress against the higher-than-usual flow of the Wood River. It was alone; no other chicks or adults were present. I might have missed this bird altogether except my sharp-eyed host picked it out moving along the far bank.
I was quite stumped about its identity and submitted my photos to the BIRDCHAT mailing list and some of my New Mexico-based ornithological colleagues. Thanks to their help, within hours the ID was nailed down, and confirmed by Google Image Search. Dr. John Hubbard opined that something bad had happened to the family group, as a chick of this age would still be dependent on adults.
Hawk, Red-tailed @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Crane, Sandhill 2 @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Sandpiper, Spotted @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Dove, Mourning @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Screech-Owl, Western 2 @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Vocalizations: Heard only, two, duetting from trees on opposite sides of my hosts' porch, time about 2145 MDT.
Hummingbird, Calliope @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Hummingbird, Rufous @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Sapsucker, Red-naped @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Breeding: My hosts were hoping I could find the source of what they thought was a baby bird making endless 'yeep yeep' noises. It was coming from a hole in a poplar tree that faced away from the trail. Shortly thereafter I observed a female coming in several times to deliver food to this nest hole.
Woodpecker, Hairy @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Behavior: Carrying food.
Flicker, Northern @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Crow, American 30+ @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Raven, Common @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Swallow, Tree @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Breeding: Photos of parent feeding occupants of a nest hole.
Swallow, Barn @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Robin, American @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Waxwing, Cedar # @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Warbler, Yellow @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Breeding: Begging juveniles being fed.
Several family groups observed in the wooded bottoms near the Wood River.
Sparrow, Lark @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Sparrow, Lincoln's @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Behavior: Post-bath preening.
I was calling a lot of Song Sparrows, but upon closer inspection of the photos, they all turned out to be Lincoln's by the fine, blackish streaking on the sides. Some shots also showed the buffy ground color under the breast streaking.
Finch, Cassin's @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch

2008-07-17: WY: Meeteetse area

@LSR: Meeteetse: Lower Sunshine Reservoir
@Mee: Meeteetse area
@SunR: Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Cormorant, Double-crested @Meeteetse: Lower Sunshine Reservoir
This reservoir has more water in it lately. This single cormorant was the only waterbird in sight.
Crane, Sandhill @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Sandpiper, Spotted 2 @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Nighthawk, Common @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Seen around dusk.
Hummingbird, Rufous @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Sapsucker, Red-naped @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Vocalizations: Young begging: 'yurp' repeated indefinitely. Sometimes going up and down in pitch a bit but mostly monotonous.
Breeding: Have now found three active nest holes.
Flicker, Red-shafted @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Wood-Pewee, Western @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Empidonax sp. @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Swallow, Tree @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Nuthatch, White-breasted @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Wren, House @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Bluebird, Mountain @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Robin, American @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Warbler, Yellow @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
#♂ @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
1♀ @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Saw lots of males around today, but unlike yesterday, finally got this single decent photo of a female.
Towhee, Spotted @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Vocalizations: Heard only.
Sparrow, Savannah @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Sparrow, Lincoln's @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Vocalizations: 'duh^4 dee^4 chuk^4 dew'
Grosbeak, Black-headed @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Blackbird, Red-winged @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Cowbird, Brown-headed @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Siskin, Pine @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Goldfinch, American 2♂ @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch

2008-07-18: WY: Meeteetse-Shoshoni-Douglas-Bill-Colorado

@Bill: Bill
@Doug: Douglas
@SunR: Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
@WRRd: Meeteetse: Wood River Road
@WindR: Wind River Canyon
@day: Meeteetse-Shoshoni-Douglas-Bill-Colorado
What, you might ask, was I doing in Bill, a town with no houses or businesses, and hardly any birds? Bill is the epicenter of the Powder River Basin coal shipping operation, with a BNSF-UP joint triple-track mainline, and a great place for trainwatching.
Vulture, Turkey @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Kestrel, American @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Gull, California @Wind River Canyon
Dove, Mourning @Meeteetse: Wood River Road
Hummingbird, Rufous @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Magpie, Black-billed @Meeteetse: Wood River Road
Swallow, Tree @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
Swallow, Cliff 
@Meeteetse: Wood River Road
The overpass at the south end of the railyard in Bill is a good place to attempt flight shots of Cliff swallows.
Robin, American @Meeteetse: Wood River Road
Thrasher, Sage @Bill
Meadowlark, Western @Meeteetse: Wood River Road
Blackbird, Brewer's 
@Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch
@Meeteetse: Wood River Road
Breeding: Female feeding small grasshoppers to a juvenile.
Finch, House @Douglas
Goldfinch, American @Meeteetse: Sunshine Ranch

2008-07-22: NM: Socorro: New Mexico Tech

@NMT: Socorro: New Mexico Tech
Quail, Gambel's 
3+a @Socorro: New Mexico Tech
15+i @Socorro: New Mexico Tech
This group has been shuttling around the heart of the campus, just northeast of Speare Hall and south of MSEC. The chicks are tiny, maybe 3" tall. Quail have been getting more numerous, and further away from undeveloped areas, for the last year at least.

2008-07-24: NM: Socorro: 507 Fitch

@home: Socorro: 507 Fitch
Thrasher, Curve-billed @Socorro: 507 Fitch
Vocalizations: 'whick-whick'

2008-07-28: NM: Socorro: 507 Fitch

@home: Socorro: 507 Fitch
Thrasher, Curve-billed @Socorro: 507 Fitch
Breeding: I suspect the local pair in my yard had two broods this year. They (and then the neighborhood Northern Mockingbird) bred early. Today I saw an immature with a slightly shorter bill, accompanied by an adult. That might explain why I've noticed a recent upsurge in "whick-whick" calls.

2008-07-31: NM: Socorro: 507 Fitch

@home: Socorro: 507 Fitch
There was a Phrynosoma attending the anthill in my driveway today.

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