Sunday, May 31, 2009

Glasgow FeatherFest 09

Saturday morning was calm and sunny. A perfect day for FeatherFest this year. Instead of leading a field trip like I have done all the previous years, I elected to join Woody Baxter on his Missouri River canoe field trip.

Fourteen other folks joined Woody and me as we headed down the Missouri River just below Fort Peck Dam. We enjoyed a full suite of local riparian birds including the resident pair of Bald Eagles ( you can just see both members of the pair in the leaning cottonwood over the canoes in the photo above.)

We stopped a few times along the way but I was not on top of taking photos when we were walking around looking for birds. We managed to spot some Piping Plovers along with a few Franklin's Gulls, a Baird's Sandpiper, California Gulls, American White Pelicans, and American Avocets on a small island though and I did get one bird photo then.

In my book, the best find of the morning was a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers flycatching from the tops of the cottonwoods, then copulating above the apparent nest hole. They are uncommon but regular birds around here and it is always a treat to see them.
The other field trips - a tour of South Valley County, the Fort Peck Area, and a bird banding demonstration in Glagsow - apparently went quite well, including 10 Mountain Plovers and a plover nest on the South Valley tour. Stay tuned for information about next year - we hope to be bigger and better again.

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