Sunday, September 7, 2014

Field trip report: Plains Lakes & Hutton NWR

Yesterday's inaugural field trip of the fall did not disappoint: the birds were great, the weather flat-out exceeded expectations, and the company was convivial. The major avian highlight of the trip was a juvenile Sabine's Gull at Lake Hattie. A juvenile Sanderling in fresh, crisp plumage at Meeboer was another group favorite.

Waterfowl are increasing in number on Hutton and Hoge Lakes. Lake Hattie is still relatively devoid of waterfowl but that will change over the next few weeks--and as evidenced on the trip, rare gull season is in session! Several raptor species were conspicuous, especially the Swainson's Hawks, which are amassing before their southward migration.

We saw 73 species total; below are links to the eBird checklists for each hotspot and the complete trip list.

Blake's Pond
Meeboer Lake
Twin Buttes Reservoir
Lake Hattie Reservoir
Hutton Lake NWR

Species List
Canada Goose
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Golden Eagle
Northern Harrier
Bald Eagle
Swainson's Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Virginia Rail
American Coot
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Baird's Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Wilson's Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope
Sabine's Gull
Franklin's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Nighthawk
Northern Flicker
Prairie Falcon
Loggerhead Shrike
Common Raven
Violet-green Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Marsh Wren
American Robin
Sage Thrasher
European Starling
Chestnut-collared Longspur
McCown's Longspur
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Brewer's Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
American Goldfinch
Photos of Auduboners at Lake Hattie by Libby Megna.

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