Monday, April 21, 2008

Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, Trip 1

Yesterday was the first all-day van trip for Beginning Birding 2 to Ankeny NWR. All kinds of heinous weather was in the forecast and we experienced all of it, I do believe. Gray clouds and low temps gave way to snow on our drive south on I-5 towards Salem. We all groaned and rolled our eyes but the snow soon let up as we crested the hill and approached the lower elevation of the refuge. During the rest of the trip, it rained, hailed, the sun shone, it hailed again......the fickle spring of 2008. My students were all champs and put up with all of it without a grumble....even when I got us a wee bit lost in the fields. I think I made up for any missteps when I presented extra wool socks and mittens for anyone who needed them and two people immediately accepted my offer.
It was a good bird day, too! Our highlight birds were Yellow-headed Blackbird (not rare, but unusual for the valley region) and American Bittern (a secretive marsh dweller who came out in the open for us). Over the course of the three field trips we successfully identified 71 species! photos this time. Here's our list of 56 species from yesterday:

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Greater White-fronted Goose
Canada Goose
Cackling Goose
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Ruddy Duck
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
American Coot
Short-billed Dowitcher
Mourning Dove
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Steller's Jay
Scrub Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Brown Creeper
Bewick's Wren
Marsh Wren
American Robin
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Spotted Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Purple Finch


NW Nature Nut said...

That is an impressive list!

Laura W. said...

And our Malheur list will be more impressive than this!!

me ann my camera said...

Congratulations on having such a fine day. What a big list... wow! It must have been fun.