Friday, December 4, 2009

Manhatton, KS Dec 09

Tuttle Creek State Park in Manhatton, Kansas is a great place to see Bald Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks.  There were so many raptors, that we had trouble keeping track of them!  This is a beautiful birding spot.  Lots of great overlooks of the water, short grass prairie with a smattering of cottonwoods and red cedars along the waterways.

Leavenworth Dec 09

While out searching for a Ferruginous Hawk or Rough-legged Hawk, or Prairie Falcon this morning in eastern Kansas, we stumbled upon this handsome Army man, our nephew Johnny!  I can't think of a better way to spend breakfast than with the people you love.  Plus, IHOP has pumpkin pancakes that are to die for!  Several beautiful dark Red-tails and a possible Golden Eagle so far today.  I'm hoping to see Prairie Chickens and Harris's Sparrow by tonight!  Wish us luck!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eurasion Tree Sparrow Dec 09

Today is the first day of our adventure to see our daughter play in the NCAAs. We headed out from home driving Dave's "Man-Purse" (the Ford Excursion), packed to the gills. Or should I say it has a "5" Fat (bander's joke). I will always be amazed at how much "important" stuff he carries with him.
Our first stop was St. Louis, MO to look for the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (ETS). We'd seen it years before when we we in town for a wedding, but Dave (my birder husband) needed it for both his Year List and his Milleneum List. We followed Randy Korotev's directions: to Dogtown, just like we had that last time we were here, but no ETS on the corner of Forest and West Park. Mitch, who lives on the corner, came out and immediately recognized us as birders (was it the man-purse full of binocs and scopes or the fact that we had binoculars and were looking in his neighbors back yard?). Mitch said he had just put feed out and that the ETS should be back momentarily. After an hour, no ETS, so Dave started walking the alley's and using his "Spidey Sense". He found a small flock in the alley. What a beautiful bird! These photos don't do the ETS justice, as the sun was going down quickly, and we had very low light. But, we can chalk one up on the Year List!

Randy has a really good website dedicated to providing tips on where to find a Eurasian Tree Sparrow in the St Louis area. He gives a nice history of the introduction of the species back in 1870, and provides very clear directions on where to find the birds now.

On to the next leg of our journey to the NCAAs...