Thursday, September 26, 2019

9/21 Laramie Hotspots Trip Report

Cooper's Hawk (Photo courtesy of Laurel Armstrong)
Our Laramie Hotspots outing on Sept 21st, 2019 started at Greenhill Cemetery where we were surprised to see a Red-naped Sapsucker taking a bath, with quite a few Pine Siskins flitting around the birdbath as well. Other highlights were a Western Tanager, a Warbling Vireo, and a Cooper's Hawk who was chased by American Crows into a nearby tree giving us a great view.  
Rounding out the list at the cemetery were Wilson's Warblers, American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, Mountain Chickadees, a Western Wood-Pewee, a Downy Woodpecker, and Turkey Vultures soaring overhead.

The three birders then made a quick stop at LaBonte Park where we saw a Townsend's Warbler as well as Mallards, Gadwalls, American Wigeon, Ring-billed Gulls, and more Turkey Vultures.
At the Greenbelt we combined birding with trash clean-up along Laramie Audubon's sponsored
stretch. The wind had picked up considerably and bird activity was limited, but we saw a Belted Kingfisher and a few other expected species of birds (8 total) as well as a cute little salamander.  We were pleased that there was not too much trash along the way.

Monday, September 16, 2019

9/14: Hutton Lake trip report

Juvenile Bald Eagle flying over Rush Lake. Photo by Jimena Golcher-Benavides.
Ten of us enjoyed a beautiful day at Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge this past Saturday. However, the presence of at least 7 Bald Eagles seemed to have scared away many waterbirds, which are normally abundant at Hutton this time of year. Nevertheless, the group was treated to several highlights, including American Pipits, Virginia Rails, Baird's, Pectoral, and Least Sandpipers, and excellent looks at normally skulky Marsh Wrens. Non-bird highlights included a couple of coyotes and a few nice butterflies such as Melissa Blues, Purplish Coppers, and Painted Ladies.

Greater Yellowlegs (left) and Baird's Sandpiper (right). Photo by Jimena Golcher-Benavides.
Marsh Wren. Photo by Jimena Golcher-Benavides.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Hutton Lake Field Trip and 20th Anniversary Picnic

Join us Saturday!  In the morning we'll head to Hutton Lake, and in the afternoon we'll host a potluck picnic in Optimist Park to celebrate our 20th Anniversary!

September 14th: Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge.  This hotspot is just 12 miles south of Laramie.  We'll concentrate on migratory waterfowl, grassland birds, and raptors.  Hopefully there will be several spotting scopes to share.  Meet at Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse (107 Ivinson Ave.) at 8 a.m. to coordinate carpools.  We'll be back to Laramie in time for you to prepare your dish for the 20th Anniversary Picnic Celebration.

September 14th:  Optimist Park - 20th Anniversary Potluck Picnic.  Join us from 2 - 4 p.m. for a potluck picnic and activities in Optimist Park to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Laramie Audubon Society!  We'll also share information regarding earlier iterations of Audubon in Laramie.  Please try to remember your own tableware and a dish to share.  LAS will be providing some food, plus ice cream. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Sept. 7th Field Trip - Wyoming Hereford Ranch

Join us Saturday (9/7) as we travel to Cheyenne to visit the Wyoming Hereford Ranch, an Important Bird Area.  We'll meet at 7 a.m. at Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse (107 E. Ivinson Ave.) and carpool from there.  There is a good reason that we visit WHR each fall - we often have sightings of migrating birds that do not visit Laramie.  With the mixture of habitats on the ranch, we typically see a variety of songbirds, with a few raptors and waterfowl added to the mix.  The terrain is generally flat, with gravel roads, grassy paths, and lawns.

Remember your warm clothes (just in case), sturdy shoes, snacks, water, sun protection, and binoculars, etc.  Feel free to leave at any time if you have your own transportation.  We expect the group to return to Laramie by approximately 1 p.m.