Sunday, April 20, 2014

Trip Report - Laramie Plains Lakes, April 19

Eighteen people joined the Laramie Audubon field trip to the Laramie Plains Lakes and Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It was a great day, filled with many fantastic birds. Spring migration is in full swing around Laramie: songbirds, including various sparrows, Marsh Wrens, and Say's Phoebes, are arriving, and various shorebirds are also moving through Wyoming. The trip had many highlights, including several large flocks of Franklin's Gulls flying low across the prairie, many Common Loons on Lake Hattie, many grebes (Horned, Eared, and Western) on Lake Hattie and Hutton Lake, as well as American Avocets and a Willet at Hutton Lake. Additional new migrants included a pair of Blue-winged Teals at Meeboer Lake, several Tree Swallows, and a growing number of Great-tailed Grackles in the marshes around Gelatt Lake.

American Avocet - Hutton Lake NWR, Albany Co., WY - May 2013
Eared Grebe - Travis Co., TX - March 2014
Blue-winged Teal - Hidalgo Co., TX - March 2014

After the official trip ended, several of us continued birding through the afternoon. We birded the prairie north of Laramie, where we found many McCown's Longspurs and the first Chestnut-collared Longspurs of the year.

McCown's Longspur - Albany Co., WY - April 2014
Chestnut-collared Longspur - Albany Co., WY - April 2014
Chestnut-collared Longspur - Albany Co., WY - April 2014

Note: all photos in this post are © Shawn Billerman

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