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Updated on Tuesday, March 3 at 12:57 AM EST
The most recently received Mail is at the top.


White-backed Heron,©BirdQuest

02 Mar Re: Re: McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
02 Mar Sign of Spring in Whitefish ["bj AT theworldteam.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
02 Mar Clyde Park observations ["steel_rsd AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
2 Mar Re: Re: McKay's Bunting ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
2 Mar Billings observations ["'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
2 Mar Re: McKay's Bunting ["'Stierle, Andrea' andrea.stierle AT mso.umt.edu [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar Re: McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar Re: McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar New poll for MOB-Montana []
01 Mar February Photos ["jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar New Helena Yardbird - Pine Grosbeaks ["birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar Re: McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
01 Mar McKay's Bunting ["sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Feb Re: Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck ["gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Feb Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Feb Rosy-finch ["Kitty Knaphus kmknaphus AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Feb Eurasian Wigeon in Somers, Red-necked Grebe at Yellow Bay, Polson East Bay ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
27 Feb Ross' Goose & Sandhill Crane ["Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
27 Feb Re: MOB Year List vs. eBird ["shirlmt9 AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Feb Eurasian Wigeons at Nine Pipe NWR ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Feb MOB Year List vs. eBird ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
25 Feb Hybrid goose--Ft. Peck ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
24 Feb snow geese ["parkview AT cyberport.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
24 Feb Mountain Bluebird ["conundrumjp AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Crossbills at Highland ["Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Re: Canyon Ferry Lake ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch [1 Attachment] ["steel_rsd AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb 2 male Meadowlarks singing at National Bison Range near Moise ["'A Montana View' merle AT amontanaview.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Bluebird! ["beckfarm AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Re: tundra swans & redheads ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Feb Canyon Ferry Lake ["Carlene Farmer birddog AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
22 Feb Ring-bill Gull -West Bank Park ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
22 Feb My GBBC highlights ["Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
22 Feb Western Bluebirds in Eureka ["llyoung AT interbel.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb Great Falls birding ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb tundra swans & redheads ["oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb Lewis & Clark Caverns and beyond ["Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb Warm Springs WMA ["birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Feb Tundra swans & redheads ["oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
19 Feb Re: Even More Gulls ["birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
19 Feb Even More Gulls ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
19 Feb Freezout A.M. ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Feb Re: Spring migration. ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
17 Feb Re: Spring migration. ["jcs1255 jcs1255 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
17 Feb Spring migration. ["deafduck52 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
17 Feb Freezout Tuesday AM. ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
16 Feb Freezout A.M. ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
16 Feb Confusing times ["'Steve Sherman' wstevesherman AT q.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
15 Feb California Gulls ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
15 Feb Ferruginous Hawk, Santa Rita, Montana, Feb 15 2015 ["kathleenatkins AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
15 Feb Freezout Sunday AM ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
15 Feb Open Invitation to MOB'rs - Browns Canyon, Buenos Aires NWR ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
14 Feb Re: Varied Thrush Glacier NP ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
14 Feb Re: Varied Thrush Glacier NP ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
14 Feb Ft. Peck gull ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
14 Feb Re: Varied Thrush Glacier NP ["Steve Gniadek grayjaybro AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
13 Feb Ennis Lake and Harrison Reservoir ["conundrumjp AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
13 Feb reezout A.M. ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
13 Feb Re: Snowy Owls in the Cut Bank area ["llyoung AT interbel.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
13 Feb Freezout Friday AM ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
13 Feb Re: Varied Thrush Glacier NP ["'Jeff' jeff17_marks AT msn.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
13 Feb Re: A Lesser Goldfinch, Rosy-Finches, Shields Valley, Helena ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
13 Feb A Least Goldfinch, Rosy-Finches, Shields Valley, Helena ["thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
13 Feb Varied Thrush and other birds ["bjhoy AT localnet.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
12 Feb Varied Thrush Glacier NP ["Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
12 Feb Re: Freezout Wed AM ["peterbuilt14 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
11 Feb Freezout Wed AM ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
11 Feb Re: Thank you all who has responded so far (Out of state birder) ["jswanson AT legionaries.org [MOB-Montana]" ]
10 Feb Thank you all who has responded so far (Out of state birder) ["d.langhoff AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
10 Feb Freezoout Visitor ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
10 Feb Helena Valley early gull ["birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
10 Feb Freezeout Lake ["gaia_maid AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
10 Feb Re: Out of stater coming in June for McCowns Longspur / Sage Grouse ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
10 Feb Re: Out of stater coming in June for McCowns Longspur / Sage Grouse ["'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
10 Feb Re: Out of stater coming in June for McCowns Longspur / Sage Grouse ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
09 Feb Snowy Owls in the Cut Bank area ["sunsetseeker78 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]

Subject: Re: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 02 Mar 2015 21:26:37 -0800
This has become an amazing conversation. In researching for more information, I 
can see that experts have been having this conversation for quite some time. 
Thanks to each of you for your technical information and insights. I wish I had 
a photo of the tail and wing with more spread. However, I'm going to add a 
couple more (5) photos that might show a slightly different angle. I'm not sure 
if these will shed any more light on this subject, but more visual information 
can't hurt. 

  
 Debbie Krantz, Polson  
Subject: Sign of Spring in Whitefish
From: "bj AT theworldteam.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 02 Mar 2015 14:04:57 -0800
The first Varied Thrush to visit our yard in 2015 arrived today - about a week 
earlier than usual. This male had to fend off snow flurries and only had 
minimal snow-free ground for foraging. bj worth, Whitefish. 
Subject: Clyde Park observations
From: "steel_rsd AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 02 Mar 2015 13:21:07 -0800
MOB, We had a single Common Redpoll on Sunday which other than 2013, is getting 
to be late. American Tree Sparrows are still present but not in as large of 
numbers. Am. Goldfinches and House Finches are becoming increasingly common. 
Several Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and few Evening Grosbeaks as well. I 
watched a young Golden Eagle circle low overhead and take a gopher from the 
adjacent field. 

 Scott Dean, Clyde Park 
Subject: Re: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2015 14:14:41 -0700
Debbie, Jeff

I think this change of plumage that Jeff mentions is quite interesting and 
could be pertinent to the ID. However I could find nothing that shows dark 
greater wing coverts on McKay’s, except in juveniles which don’t show much 
white overall. Also the wing coverts on Debbie’s bird do not show any white 
on the inner parts of the feathers. The upper tail coverts on this bird show 
dark markings which don’t seem to appear on McKay’s. 


One reference I have says McKay’s molt sequence is presumably like that of 
Snow Bunting, which says that the definitive basic molt is complete (meaning 
all feathers) and begins in mid-July and is completed in early September. So 
after this molt a young bird would be a first winter male or a winter female of 
any age.. 


Birds Of North America has a sentence in the description saying “Some birds 
show a mix of characters and are best left unidentified in the field; these are 
potentially hybrids.” 


Since I have no first hand knowledge of McKay’s I would also like to hear 
from someone who does. It may just be a Snow Bunting with some leucistic 
tendencies, but... 


Chuck Carlson
Ft. Peck

From: mailto:MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2015 10:13 PM
To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com ; sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com 
Subject: Re: [MOB-Montana] Re: McKay's Bunting

  
 

Debbie,

Interestingly, Snow Buntings (and I assume McKay's) don't go through a molt to 
attain so-called breeding plumage. Rather, the change in appearance of adult 
males is the result of plumage wear in which males rub the snow and ground to 
abrade the tips of their body feathers until they are pretty much black and 
white. The change occurs from Feb to Mar and is complete by Apr 


Jeff 

*******************
Jeff Marks
4241 SE Liebe Street
Portland, OR 97206
503-774-4783
Birds of Montana Project
http://mtaudubon.org/
*******************
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana] 
  To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2015 8:50 PM
  Subject: [MOB-Montana] Re: McKay's Bunting

    

 Thanks Jeff and Chuck for your input. I am learning a great deal in 
researching this identification, some of which I mentioned in my reply to Mike 
Schwitters. The extensive white, rather than rust or darker color, on the lower 
back and rump seems to be a significant identifier. I'm looking at those 
feathers that Chuck described as well. When would we usually expect a bunting 
to begin to lose the winter plumage? Is there a timeline on that? February 28th 
seems a bit early for that, but I don't have knowledge of this. 




  I appreciate this valuable feedback  

  Debbie Krantz, Polson, MT

Subject: Billings observations
From: "'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2015 08:35:36 -0800




Subject: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "'Stierle, Andrea' andrea.stierle AT mso.umt.edu [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2015 16:17:46 +0000
Good morning,

I love these discussions. Nothing helps me become a better birder than hearing 
other birders debate the identity of a bird. Beautiful photos, by the way. The 
Cornell website indicates two key physical features that distinguish the two 
birds - the Snow Bunting has a black back and far more black in the tail than 
the McKay's Bunting. If these two factors are used, then the bird in Debbie's 
photos looks like a Snow Bunting to me. 


It has been wonderful waking up to all of the bird vocalizations these past few 
weeks. We had a flock of Pine Grosbeaks, two male Song Sparrows, and a 
Steller's Jay competing for "best song" in our neighbors' spruce trees in the 
upper Rattlesnake this morning. Springtime in the Rockies! 


Andrea Stierle
Missoula and Butte
Subject: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 20:50:41 -0800
Thanks Jeff and Chuck for your input. I am learning a great deal in researching 
this identification, some of which I mentioned in my reply to Mike Schwitters. 
The extensive white, rather than rust or darker color, on the lower back and 
rump seems to be a significant identifier. I'm looking at those feathers that 
Chuck described as well. When would we usually expect a bunting to begin to 
lose the winter plumage? Is there a timeline on that? February 28th seems a bit 
early for that, but I don't have knowledge of this. 

  
 I appreciate this valuable feedback  
 Debbie Krantz, Polson, MT

Subject: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 20:21:01 -0800
Hello Mike,
  
 Thank you for the information that you sent about the McKay's identification. 
My computer would not display the photo that you had shared, so I googled the 
text and found the very comprehensive paper that you wrote regarding bird 
identification and information. Obviously you have a great deal of experience 
in this, and I have bookmarked your report for further review. Absolutely, when 
I was trying to ascertain the identity of this bird, I realized that this is 
not a species that should be found in Montana. That said, I understand that 
there may be other options here than the one that I have proposed, including 
conversations about a hybrid bird. I am continuing to research all the 
information I can access, and anticipate that I will learn a great deal through 
this process. 

  
 In my research, one of the articles that I found quite helpful was on the 
American Birding Association website, and was written by Jason Rogers. Mr. 
Rogers included some photos that lend some credence to the possibility of the 
bird that I photographed being, or looking a lot like, a McKay's. Those photos 
are found near the end of the article. That article is found at: 
https://www.aba.org/birding/v37n6p618.pdf 
https://www.aba.org/birding/v37n6p618.pdf 

  
 While it is clear that this species is pretty much limited to the Alaskan 
coastline/Bering Sea, Mr. Rogers indicates that there have been several 
sightings of single birds on a rare occasion outside of their usual migration 
regions. He states: "It may be that female McKay's Buntings, like female Snow 
Buntings, winter on average farther south than do their male counterparts. If 
so, the winter range of McKay's Bunting may not be fully known. The discovery 
of a female in British Columbia in December 2004 indicates that fall and winter 
females may occur well to the south of Alaska..... On Alaska's Pacific coast, 
McKay's Bunting is a casual winter visitant. Records of its occurrence exist 
for Kodiak, Homer, Seward and Valdez. Outside of Alaska, the species has been 
seen at Pacific Rim National Park and Richmond in British Columbia, The Lummi 
Indian Reservation and Ocean Shores in Washington, and Fort Stevens State Park 
and Depoe Bay in Oregon." 

  
 I understand that this may or may not be the McKay's (in my photo), but I do 
believe that with the changing environment and weather patterns that we are 
seeing, there is potential for a lone bird (of various species) to show up 
occasionally where it does not belong. That alone, I think, is fascinating. 

  
 Thanks so much for this valuable feedback.
 Debbie Krantz,
 Polson, MT
  
  
  
  
  
  
 

Subject: New poll for MOB-Montana
From: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com
Date: 01 Mar 2015 18:19:05 -0800
Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the MOB-Montana group:


The February photo of the Month contest is now open. Voting will end on March 
5, 2015. 

Created by: mccownii




1. Canada Goose 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506162 

2. Gray Partridge 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506152 

3. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506163 

4. Pine Grosbeak 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506164 

5. Black Rosy-Finch 1 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506129 

6. Black Rosy-Finch 2 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13234537#122506130 







Thanks!


Subject: February Photos
From: "jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 14:05:01 -0800
Hi all,
 A few more hours and I will close the February photo contest. If you have any 
photos you would like to have included, please place them in the February photo 
contest folder soon. Thanks - John 
Subject: New Helena Yardbird - Pine Grosbeaks
From: "birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 12:50:53 -0800
All:

As I glanced out the window awhile ago at a bird perched on a far mountain ash 
tree, I thought to myself, that is the reddest house finch I have ever seen. A 
bino view aided in readily determining that it was a male Pine Grosbeak. It and 
others of its kind - perhaps as many as 8 - were mixed in with a bunch of 
waxwings on the Mountain Ash. They separated soon after that and I watched them 
for perhaps 10 minutes as they flew frequently and perched at the tops of 
conifers nearby. That is the first time I have seen this species in Helena, 
although they are often found in the nearby mountains. 


Bob Martinka
Subject: Re: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 08:52:22 -0800
I posted a comment on each photo with identification, rather than on the file 
name. My apologies if that was not the correct format, but all are noted with 
that comment. Thanks! 
Subject: McKay's Bunting
From: "sendtodebbie AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 01 Mar 2015 08:50:14 -0800
I have posted several photos of a bird that my husband found this week, and 
took me to see yesterday. I understand completely that it would be quite rare 
to see a McKay's Bunting in Montana, but I spent a great deal of time last 
night researching both that bird and the winter plumage of the Snow Bunting, 
and I really believe that this is likely a female McKay's Bunting (however lost 
it may be). It was in rocky terrain, ground feeding both times it has been seen 
in the same location. The white back near the tail, the lack of color (only 
slight rustiness appears) on the head and upper chest, and the wing feathers 
that are white, with only black tips lead me to believe that this is not a Snow 
Bunting. The photos are posted in the folder "Deb Krantz Photos". The bird was 
found west of Elmo, MT in a very open area of tribal ground--hike in only, 
tribal permit required. 
Subject: Re: Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck
From: "gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:45:08 -0500 (EST)
I had about 75 Common Redpolls and 1 Hoary Redpoll in the south valley by Deer 
Lodge the other day. They were under a number of dead cottonwood trees feeding 
on dry cow manure. These were the first I had seen this winter, although a few 
were recorded on the WS CBC. 



Gary Swant 
Deer Lodge 




From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" 
 

To: "MOB"  
Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2015 12:47:32 PM 
Subject: [MOB-Montana] Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck 








Mobsters 

A small flock of 10 or 12 Common Redpolls showed up in the yard today, the 
first in quite a while. 


Chuck Carlson 
Ft. Peck 

 
Subject: Common Redpolls - Ft. Peck
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 12:47:32 -0700
Mobsters

A small flock of 10 or 12 Common Redpolls showed up in the yard today, the 
first in quite a while. 


Chuck Carlson
Ft. Peck
Subject: Rosy-finch
From: "Kitty Knaphus kmknaphus AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:24:32 +0000 (UTC)
We just had an estimated 200 Gray-crowned Rosy Finch mob the feeders.  Don't 
know how long they will stick around.  They have been gone most of this week. 


Kitty & Kris Knaphus778 10 Mile RoadCascade 
468-2493
Subject: Eurasian Wigeon in Somers, Red-necked Grebe at Yellow Bay, Polson East Bay
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 28 Feb 2015 07:01:46 -0800
Greetings MOBsters,
 

 Yesterday Katie Heath and I birded Somers for the first time. What a pleasant 
place and very birdy. While scoping Somers bay for Red-breasted Merganser 
(which we did not observe) we spotted a male Eurasian Wigeon in breeding 
plumage foraging with several American Wigeon and, after a few minutes of 
watching him, noticed a Eurasian Wigeon hen in close attendance. 

 

 We birded our way around the East side of Flathead Lake heading South. At 
Yellow Bay we noted a Red-necked Grebe. 

 

 We also visited the Ducharme fishing access to look at Polson's East Bay and 
it was hopping. I counted 431 Trumpeter/Tundra Swan, really too far to ID but 
easy to pick out among the thousands of waterfowl present including Common 
Merganser, Redheads, Pintail, Mallard, American Wigeon, Common Goldeneye and 
Canada Geese. There were rafts of waterfowl in the center of the bay too 
distant for accurate ID. 

 

 Good Birding,
 Thomas Kallmeyer, Missoula
 

 eBird checklists:
 Somers: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22093567 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22093567 

 Flathead WPA West: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22094129 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22094129 

 Wayfarers State Park: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22096222 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22096222 

 Yellow Bay State Park: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22097144 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22097144 

 Flathead Lake--Ducharme Fishing Access Site: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22097906 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22097906 


 

Subject: Ross' Goose & Sandhill Crane
From: "Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:57:16 -0700
Hi MOB,
I headed from Bozeman to Sheridan MT to see my parents yesterday afternoon
and stopped by Ennis Lake. The lake was almost  completely re frozen but
there was some open water at the Meadow Lake access and amongst a large
flock of Canada Geese was one small white bird that turned out to have a
pure white head and very small triangular bill.

Shortly after I found  my FOY Sandhill Crane in the Ruby Valley letting out
repeated bugles. With the Red - winged Blackbirds singing actively it
really felt like spring was closing in.
Tom Forwood in Bozeman
Subject: Re: MOB Year List vs. eBird
From: "shirlmt9 AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 27 Feb 2015 07:23:49 -0800
i'd entered northern pintail in MOB's database but then erased it when i found 
posts to the group that mentioned seeing them way earlier than my date (early 
february). i thought it was best to leave it blank than to put in a date i knew 
was incorrect - i hope that's what's preferred? 
Subject: Eurasian Wigeons at Nine Pipe NWR
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Feb 2015 22:07:45 -0800
Greetings MOBsters,
 

 Today Katie Heath and I observed 2 Eurasian Wigeon among a group of American 
Wigeon at Nine Pipe NWR. 

 

 Ebird Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22083517 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22083517 

 

 The eBird checklist contains a link to a distant image.
 

 Good Birding,
 Thomas Kallmeyer
  
Subject: MOB Year List vs. eBird
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Feb 2015 15:00:57 -0800
MOB-sters:
 

 I have noticed a growing disconnect between the 2015 Big Year database on the 
MOB and 2015 Montana list to date on eBird. Currently, the former lists first 
dates for 121 species, and the later lists 152. While I do not think that it is 
particularly important to have these two sources in sync, it makes sense that 
each should be as complete as possible, particularly given that some birders 
use only one or the other as a resource. The only species reported on the MOB 
list so far that has not been entered in eBird yet in 2015 is Chukar. But there 
are 32 species that have been reported at least once on eBird that have not yet 
have entries made on the MOB database. Rather than list them all here, I would 
urge those of you who are interested in such things to visit the database and 
populate it for any species for which you have an observation location and 
date. 

 

 Of course, you should only edit entries for which you have an earlier date 
than the one currently listed, or for which there are no current entries (Snow 
Goose, Northern Pintail, Red-tailed Hawk (!), Great Gray Owl, and Marsh Wren 
are among the missing, for example). 

 

 I cannot say that I am surprised that there has been a lull in database 
entries between the New Year's rush and the flush of arrivals that is about to 
begin. But as food for thought, eBird does this automatically, and provides 
both first seen and last seen dates for each species, statewide, or by 
county...just go to the eBird website and click on "Explore Data". 

 

 Dan Casey
 Billings
  
Subject: Hybrid goose--Ft. Peck
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:56:20 -0700
Mobsters

Yesterday Dave Allen showed me a strange goose mixed with a large flock of 
Canadas. Photos showed reddish-orange legs and bill. It is some sort of 
barnyard goose and Canada and is a very strong flyer. I have posted a shot of 
the bird in MOB. 


The flocks of geese have increased over the past two weeks and the huge number 
of birds in the area is very hard to estimate as they are lining the river 
banks from the powerplants to at least Nelson Dredge. There are undoubtedly 
Cacklers in the flocks. 


The one California Gull that was seen several weeks ago has not been seen again 
and I’m still waiting for them to show up. 


Chuck Carlson
Ft. Peck
Subject: snow geese
From: "parkview AT cyberport.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 24 Feb 2015 16:10:41 -0800
15 snow geese were seen in migration flying above route 82 between Bigfork and 
Somers on 2/23 at 16:30. 

Barbara Summer, Bigfork
 

Subject: Mountain Bluebird
From: "conundrumjp AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 24 Feb 2015 15:18:28 -0800
A male Mountain Bluebird has arrived in the Gallatin Valley ahead of the storm 
front that is now settling into the valley. The bluebird was seen along Pass 
Creek Road, north of Bozeman. 


Six Tundra Swans were at Central Park Pond along with 38 Trumpeter Swans. The 
male Canvasback was still present along with eight other duck species and two 
coots. 


John Parker
 Bozeman

Subject: Crossbills at Highland
From: "Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:06:22 -0700
Highland Cemetery, Cascade, US-MT
Feb 23, 2015 1:38 PM - 2:48 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
Comments:     dusting of snow in some places
10 species

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  5     fly over
Great Horned Owl  2     she is on the nest that has been used now for a
number of years
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  2
Black-billed Magpie  6
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
European Starling  50
Pine Grosbeak  8
Red Crossbill  5
White-winged Crossbill  1

View this checklist online at
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22047498

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Arla Eckert Great Falls




------------------------------------
Posted by: Arla Eckert 
------------------------------------


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Subject: Re: Canyon Ferry Lake
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:26:03 -0700
Carlene,
I know where a couple thousand of the Canada Geese came from. Freezout 
Lake and ponds are mostly frozen.  There were few birds this morning.  
About 600 Canada Geese were out on the ice.  The swans were gone as were 
the ducks.  Oh well we'll get to see them come through again.
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT



On 2/23/2015 9:05 AM, Carlene Farmer birddog AT mt.net [MOB-Montana] wrote:
>
>
> there are "zillions" of Canada geese on Canyon Ferry Lake.  we go down 
> there a lot as it is one of our favorite places to take our dogs for 
> walks.  there was just a cacophony of wonderful goose talk. also a 
> couple of small bunches of swans, goodly number of mallard and some 
> divers we were not able to get a good look at. also rough-legged 
> hawks, bald and golden eagles, lots of ravens and magpies, turkeys 
> (man, can they run fast!).
>
> Carlene Farmer
> Clancy
>
>
> 
Subject: Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch [1 Attachment]
From: "steel_rsd AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 23 Feb 2015 12:39:02 -0800
A work colleague of mine reported a single Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch this past 
weekend (2/21/15) in the middle of Bozeman. Specifically in the Prairie Ave. 
area which is just west of Bozeman Pond. Not a common sighting inside the city 
limits. 

 

 Scott Dean
 Clyde Park
Subject: 2 male Meadowlarks singing at National Bison Range near Moise
From: "'A Montana View' merle AT amontanaview.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:09:07 -0700
Heard the Meadowlark song when I stopped the car with my windows rolled
down. It was the cold, snowy morning of Feb 21, bright sunny day. I looked
and looked - far away on top of some aspen I saw the two males singing away.
They were at the very east end of NBR near Mission Creek and the fence line
of the cattle farm. Way too far for my 500mm lens. Beautiful golden jewels
on a snowy background. Dang.

Another note, had a TICK in my hair after a hike in the Bitterroots
yesterday.

Merle Ann Loman, A Montana View Photography
516 Chickadee Lane
P.O. Box 755
Victor, MT 59875

  A Montana View - my website and connect with
me on
  Facebook,
 Twitter- AT AMontanaView and
 LinkedIn

 
Subject: Bluebird!
From: "beckfarm AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 23 Feb 2015 09:37:56 -0800
Yes, sitting on a neighbor's porch this morning, the first mountain bluebird, 
at least around here! The two-day cold snap didn't stop the push to spring. 

 No "morning chorus" today, though, but last week, in one warm morning, I heard 
not only robins "in full throated ease," but a new song sparrow that literally 
could not stop for a breath for a good five minutes, a shrike that "sang" for a 
half hour straight at the top of a cottonwood, at least a dozen red-wings 
around the feeders in unrusty voice, a pair of noisy hairy woodpeckers, 
collared doves in pairs, dippers chattering on the creek, tree sparrows in the 
shrubs, horned larks rising in small musical groups in the fields, both 
chickadee species, and always above it all the house finches in a bright red 
not seen all winter long singing all day in assorted warbles and burrs. Should 
I mention the starlings with their catcalls and phony curlew whistles? Let'em 
sing, it's (almost) spring! 

 

 Mike Becker
 Harrison 
Subject: Re: tundra swans & redheads
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 23 Feb 2015 09:33:21 -0800
MOBsters, 

 Katie Heath and I stopped by the Ducharme Fishing Access and took a look at 
the bay East of Polson yesterday. There were several groups of swans with 60+ 
in each group as well as many waterfowl. The water level of the lake is quite 
low, leaving a gap of several hundred feet between the shoreline and fishing 
access, making ID of any birds extremely difficult. We drove around for a few 
minutes, but the lakeshore is all private property there and we couldn't find a 
way to get closer. Unfortunately we did not have a scope with us, but even with 
a scope ID would have been very difficult. I'm going to upload a few images 
that I captured at 400mm to the album T.Kallmeyer and would appreciate it if 
folks would take a look and consider whether ID of the swans is possible. 

 

 Good Birding,
 Thomas Kallmeyer, Missoula
Subject: Canyon Ferry Lake
From: "Carlene Farmer birddog AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 09:05:28 -0700
there are "zillions" of Canada geese on Canyon Ferry Lake.  we go down 
there a lot as it is one of our favorite places to take our dogs for 
walks.  there was just a cacophony of wonderful goose talk.  also a 
couple of small bunches of swans, goodly number of mallard and some 
divers we were not able to get a good look at.  also rough-legged hawks, 
bald and golden eagles, lots of ravens and magpies, turkeys (man, can 
they run fast!).

Carlene Farmer
Clancy
Subject: Ring-bill Gull -West Bank Park
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 18:16:11 -0700
It was bound to happen.  I had a dozen California Gulls yesterday morning,
5 earlier today.  But, this evening I saw one lone Ringbill Gull.  there
was no doubt at all as he was close enough for a decent picture.  Northern
Pintails showed up here today as well.
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: My GBBC highlights
From: "Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 12:09:58 -0700
My GBBC highlights
I ended up doing 32 counts this year. My yard was way down in numbers with
the good weather. Along the river here in Great Falls I did a lot of counts
working from the one end to the other. Found geese, 1 Pied-billed Grebe,
mallards, 1 American Wigeon, 1 Canvasback, 36 Redheads, 16 Ring-necked
Ducks, Common Goldeneye, Barrows Goldeneye, Bufflehead, only 1 Hooded
Merganser, Common Merganser, 1 Ruddy Duck, Bald Eagles, 1 Coopers Hawk,
American Coots and 3 California Gulls. No Killdeer at all which was a
surprise to me. The number of Hooded Mergansers seemed to me to be very low.
A run out to Morony Dam paid off with a nice male Long-tailed Duck being
seen. Benton Lake was good for a Golden Eagle who gave me great views. It
was interesting that the Horned Larks seemed to be in pairs not the large
flocks I have had other years. Did see Rough-legged Hawks and Northern
Harriers along the back roads. Found 2 Ring-necked Pheasants and 2 Huns.
Highland Cemetery yielded a Brown Creeper, lots of Black-capped Chickadees,
House Finch, Pine Grosbeaks, 2 Great Horned owls, European Starlings,
magpies, but no American Robins and no Townsend s Solitaire, which is
unheard of, and it has been that way all winter for me there. The Rock
Pigeon number seems to be way down so far this winter. I often get up to
2,000 at the rail yard and this year under 600. Also no big birds of prey
hunting that area for them so far this winter. Just not sure what is going
on.  The robin numbers seem to be down this winter and there is fruit for
them here and there. I did find a number of crows the day after the count.
Oh well. It was an interesting 4 days of counting. Arla Eckert Great Falls




------------------------------------
Posted by: Arla Eckert 
------------------------------------


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Subject: Western Bluebirds in Eureka
From: "llyoung AT interbel.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 22 Feb 2015 10:27:24 -0800
Saw our first Western Bluebirds this morning here in Eureka area.
 

 Lewis Young
 Eureka
Subject: Great Falls birding
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Feb 2015 19:59:46 -0800
MOB, checked out Great Falls today had extra time. First West Bank mostly 
Common Goldeneyes and a few Buffleheads with Mallards. On to Giant Springs 
State Park first of year birds seen there are--2 Common Mergansers, one Belted 
Kingfisher, a couple of rafts of American Coots. Other birds worth a note are- 
several Common Goldeneyes, a few Buffleheads, one fly over of an adult Bald 
Eagle, a flock of Cedar Waxwings, a flock of Black-capped Chickadees. Then on 
to Highland Cemetery where I saw first Pine Grosbeak's for the year saw 8 of 
them. Also saw 2 Red-br. Nuthatches and one Black-capped Chickadee. All for 
now, good birding Larry Carter Fairfield 
Subject: tundra swans & redheads
From: "oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Feb 2015 18:45:23 -0800
This week there has been large flocks of tundra swans (300-500) and redheads 
(several thousand) in Polson's East Bay along with big numbers of mallards and 
coots. 

 

 Jim Oates
Subject: Lewis & Clark Caverns and beyond
From: "Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:14:46 -0700
Hi MOB,
     John Parker and I hiked a nice loop yesterday afternoon at Lewis & 
Clark Caverns State Park that provided some fun birds. We started off 
with a song that made us stop and take a look to find a singing Northern 
Shrike. We followed that up with a Norther Pygmy-Owl perched in a snag 
high up the trail and finished with several Juncos, many Robins and 
Solitaires a high Golden Eagle flyover and in a different place 
entirely, the singing Shrike.
     Not to bury the lead, but I also received a message from a friend 
in Whitehall today that she had a Long-billed Curlew by her place seen 
and heard calling. Where she lives is a spring staging area and breeding 
ground as I've seen them there every year from late April into July. I 
will head that way sometime tomorrow to have a look.
     Good birding all, Tom

-- 
Tom Forwood
Park Ranger
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park
P.O. Box 489
Whitehall, MT   59759
406-287-3541

fwptforwood AT gmail.com



------------------------------------
Posted by: Tom Forwood 
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Subject: Warm Springs WMA
From: "birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Feb 2015 13:46:03 -0800
Nearly all of the ice is gone at WS WMA now. I found 17 species of waterfowl 
today including about 450 Northern Pintail, 2,500 Mallards, and 1,200 Common 
Goldeneye. There were a few Redhead, Canvasback, Gadwall, American Wigeon, 
Lesser Scaup and Barrow's Goldeneye. I did find 2 Greater Scaup as well. There 
were also about 50 Tundra and three Trumpeter Swans. 

 

 A pair of Great Horned Owls are preparing a nest, but the Bald Eagles have not 
started to build a nest to replace the one that fell out of the tree last 
summer. Adult Bald Eagles were in the area, so we shall see if they rebuild or 
move on. 

 

 Gary Swant
 Deer Lodge
 

Subject: Tundra swans & redheads
From: "oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Feb 2015 04:23:20 -0800
eBird has been blocking my postings probably because of the large numbers, so 
I'll post to MOB. There have been 300 to 500 tundra swans and several thousand 
redheads on Polson's East Bay this week along with other species that have been 
posted on ebird. They may be gone soon. 


Jim Oates
Polson

------------------------------------
Posted by: oates65 AT gmail.com
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Subject: Re: Even More Gulls
From: "birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 19 Feb 2015 19:17:54 -0800
All:

A few more gulls are also showing up at the Helena landfill - with 3 CA and 3 
Herring on Tuesday! 


Bob Martinka
Subject: Even More Gulls
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:46:18 -0700
It started with 2 on Monday, then there were 4 Wednesday morning.  This
evening I saw 7 California Gulls sitting on a new sand bar off West Bank
Park.  It wasn't just 2 errant birds arriving early.
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: Freezout A.M.
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 02:06:12 +0000
MOB, checked out Freezout this morning. New birds for 2015 were--Trumpter Swan 
saw three 2 adults one juvenile on Pond 5 and one Canvasback at the Dike. Other 
birds worth a note are-at least 1,000Canada Geese, 1,400 Mallards both all over 
Freezout. Saw 130 Tundra Swans on Pond 4 Saw first flock of 36 White Geese for 
the year saw them first on Pond 5 then they flew over Freezout. All for now. 
Good birding Larry Carter Fairfield 







Sent from Windows Mail
Subject: Re: Spring migration.
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 18 Feb 2015 14:15:40 -0800
deaduck52 (please include your real name with your MOB posts): 

 There are indeed concerns that as climate changes, bird migration and breeding 
will be "out of synch" with the foliage, insects and other foods that birds 
depend on. And there are certainly some patterns emerging that indicate birds 
are wintering further north, or lingering longer, due to higher temperatures. 
Every spring there are individuals that arrive well ahead of the true wave of 
migrants. Many waterfowl species actually winter at our latitudes or close by, 
and will respond to the availability of open water to some extent. 
Traditionally early migrants such as Varied Thrush, American Robin (many of 
which overwinter), Starlings, Red-winged Blackbirds, etc. may indeed "arrive" 
earlier in years such as this. But the later we get into the spring, the more 
predictable most (long-distance) migrants become in their arrival dates (with 
scattered individuals sometimes arriving much earlier). It will be interesting 
to see how the rest of this migration season unfolds. 

 

 Dan Casey
 Billings
Subject: Re: Spring migration.
From: "jcs1255 jcs1255 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 17:36:59 -0700
Don't know if migration us officially early and for what species. However we 
have watched our retail hawks return earlier each year, about four weeks 
earlier this year. They are already using up the nest. Sadly I have also seen 
them lose the young in late spring storms for 2 of past 3 yrs. Evaro, MT 



Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone
Subject: Spring migration.
From: "deafduck52 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 17 Feb 2015 15:50:06 -0800
MOBsters , I beg your forgiveness if this question is inappropriate to this 
group. Seemingly the initiation of spring migration is something like four 
weeks early. I am wondering if this is accurate and/or precedented. How does 
this affect nesting and brood raising for the subsequent season? Is this 
indiciative of or concerning in terms of global warming, or do I need a life? 
:-) 
Subject: Freezout Tuesday AM.
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:00:33 -0700
Howdy MOB,
Nearly clear this morning.
Things are coming in and I added a number of species to the year list.  
These included Starling, a Meadowlark, Common Mergansers, and 
Bufflehead.  Add to those a large bunch of Canada Geese (3,527), the 
good numbers of Mallards and Tundra Swans (104!).
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT



------------------------------------
Posted by: Michael Schwitters 
------------------------------------


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Subject: Freezout A.M.
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 16 Feb 2015 15:03:14 -0800
MOB, checked out Freezout this morning. Still several Canada Geese with an 
estimate around1,500 and Mallards with an estimate of 1,740 at least. Other 
sightings worth a note are--one lone Snow Goose with a flock of Canada Geese 
near the Thumb, saw first Northern Pintails saw 10 on Pond 5, first Gadwall of 
year saw 4 on Pond 5, 46 Tundra Swans near Pond 3,first Buffleheads for year 
saw a pair on Pond 1. At the Sunset Hills Cemetery outside of Fairfield saw 16 
Common Redpolls. All for now, good birding Larry Carter Fairfield 
Subject: Confusing times
From: "'Steve Sherman' wstevesherman AT q.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 12:09:55 -0700
The calendar says winter – the weather says spring. What's a bird to do? 
Last week I saw 150+/- Pintails and Widgeon on Clark Canyon Reservoir, very 
early for this time of year. They usually arrive, in these numbers in late 
March or early April. 

Yesterday I had Red-winged Blackbirds at my feeder. They usually arrive mid to 
late March. 

I counted ten pair of Trumpeter Swans at Clark Canyon this morning. They have 
been here all winter, where ever there is open water. 

With the early reports of Sharp-tails on the leks I checked out a Sage Grouse 
lek this morning and found thirteen males displaying (no females). The leks are 
usually occupied from mid March to mid May 

Steve Sherman
Dillon
Subject: California Gulls
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 19:26:11 -0700
All this talk about some early California Gulls.  Arla said she had
probably seen some during the GBBC period.  It had me curious if they would
show up in the West Bank area.  Sure enough, I went out for a late look
around at 5:30 tonight and sure enough there was a pair sitting on the
large (former) sand bar.  One was clearly in winter plumage, the other in
transition (didn't have the red spot yet).  Other than that I've had
nothing but Canada Geese, Common Goldeneye, Buffleheads, Mallards, Barrow's
Goldeneye and the occasional Hooded Mergansers, even less common a Lesser
Scaup and Common Merganser all winter.  I was sure ready for something
different.
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: Ferruginous Hawk, Santa Rita, Montana, Feb 15 2015
From: "kathleenatkins AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 15 Feb 2015 17:12:43 -0800
Howdy MOB,
 

 Tom M. and I rolled around checking out some roads in the Cut Bank area we 
hadn't yet driven, and found a rather white-breasted buteo on a power pole that 
we were not at all expecting to see - a male Ferruginous Hawk! The power pole 
was located within 500 yards of an absolutely massive nest in a cottonwood 
tree. 

 

 Here are a couple of pics, no filters, only cropped: 
 https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/photos/albums/1643030727 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/photos/albums/1643030727 


 

 We also saw our first of year Richardson's ground squirrel scamper across the 
road a bit north. In our travels (up to the abandoned radar station near Del 
Bonita and back down 444) we also saw 9 Rough-legged Hawks, 3 Golden Eagles, 2 
Bald Eagles, 1 Prairie Falcon, and 1 Northern Shrike. 

 

 Good birding,
 Kate Atkins
 Cut Bank
 

Subject: Freezout Sunday AM
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 14:33:33 -0700
Howdy MOB,
Started the day with a soft snowfall that ended by 10:00AM.
I found 2,636 Canada Geese...all feeding in fields east of the Lake.  
The first gull of the year was found far out in Pond 4 and an immature 
bird so species remained an unknown.  The same 10 Tundra Swans continued.
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT



------------------------------------
Posted by: Michael Schwitters 
------------------------------------


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Subject: Open Invitation to MOB'rs - Browns Canyon, Buenos Aires NWR
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 15 Feb 2015 08:04:57 -0800
Ken Joki and I have arranged for a hike into the above rather unique speck of 
habitat for 4 March 2015. Would have room for maybe 4-6 snow-birders that might 
in the area. 


Mike Lesnik
vagapaddler AT yahoo.com
Cochise Co for a couple more days


 

Subject: Re: Varied Thrush Glacier NP
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 14 Feb 2015 17:03:33 -0800
MOBsters, 

 Katie Heath and I visited the West side of Glacier National Park today and 
heard Varied Thrush singing at Lake McDonald lodge as well as the Lincoln Lake 
Trailhead. We also observed 2 Red-necked Grebe just West of the Lincoln Lake 
trailhead on Lake McDonald (pics posted to album T. Kallmeyer). Thanks to Tom 
Forwood Jr for this thread that motivated us to visit Glacier before returning 
to Missoula today. 

 

 Good Birding,
 Thomas Kallmeyer
Subject: Re: Varied Thrush Glacier NP
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 14 Feb 2015 16:55:54 -0800




Subject: Ft. Peck gull
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2015 13:42:13 -0700
Mobsters    

I found a California Gull here on the Missouri River this morning. This is the 
first gull here since the Great Black-backed left on 1/17. The gulls usually 
don’t return here in spring? until early to mid March. 


Chuck Carlson
Ft. Peck
Subject: Re: Varied Thrush Glacier NP
From: "Steve Gniadek grayjaybro AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2015 04:45:31 +0000 (UTC)
 Friends in West Glacier reported a Varied Thrush on 2/10/15, their "earliest 
by far".  My FOY records for Varied Thrush in GNP are usually late Feb. or 
early March, but I had one on 1/23/06, and at least one was found on the CBC 
(in the Lake McDonald area).  A few birds probably winter in the park, but 
are mostly silent and secretive. 

Steve GniadekColumbia Falls
Subject: Ennis Lake and Harrison Reservoir
From: "conundrumjp AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 13 Feb 2015 20:16:14 -0800
 I went out to Ennis Lake today to see something I’ve never seen before. The 
lake was 75% ice free, and should be 100% open by tomorrow. Typically, ice off 
starts in mid March on Ennis Lake. Some of the highlights included 160 
Trumpeter Swans, numerous Bald Eagles, at least 8 Herring Gulls (the 7 gulls 
sleeping way out on the ice were most likely Herring Gulls too), and 6 Pinyon 
Jays. 

 On the drive into Harrison Reservoir, there was a male and female pair of 
Kestrels together. The lake was 100% open! There were 39 Trumpeter Swans, lots 
of Mallards and Common Goldeneye, plus 3 American Tree Sparrows. 

 There was a duck all by itself at the northwest corner of the lake, which I 
put my binoculars on what seemed to be-a Common Goldeneye? On closer 
examination with the scope, the body, head shape, and bill was goldeneye, but 
there was something wrong. The flanks and wing pattern were Hooded Merganser. 
Then, I realized that the white cheek patch was missing. It was a beautiful 
male Common Goldeneye X Hooded Merganser hybrid. I was only able to watch it 
for a minute before it flew to the other side of the lake. An odd duck indeed. 


  
 John Parker
 Bozeman
 

Subject: reezout A.M.
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 13 Feb 2015 19:33:35 -0800
MOB, Was out to Freezout this morning and saw the 11 tundra Swans on Pond 1 
plus did see one Great Horned Owl at the Garage Site. Saw the huge flocks of 
Canada Geese and Mallards as Mike noted. Did see 8 Bald Eagles on Pond 1 with 6 
juveniles and 2 adults together. Learning how to hunt? All for now, good 
birding Larry Carter Fairfield, MT 
Subject: Re: Snowy Owls in the Cut Bank area
From: "llyoung AT interbel.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 13 Feb 2015 15:30:13 -0800
Hi,
 

 Just wondering if any of the Snowy Owls might still be around? I was thinking 
of coming over this weekend to look for one. Thanks. 

 

 Lewis Young
 Eureka

Subject: Freezout Friday AM
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 14:53:01 -0700
MOB,
A couple surprises this morning as I checked out Freezout Lake. First 
the Lake was showing 40-50 percent OPEN WATER.  Quite a change from a 
couple days ago.  Secondly,  two small flocks of Tundra Swans were 
present...are we sure the month is February?
My Canada Goose count was 1,339.  Mallards were still about 1,000, and 
Common Goldeneye continued to increase.
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT



------------------------------------
Posted by: Michael Schwitters 
------------------------------------


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Subject: Re: Varied Thrush Glacier NP
From: "'Jeff' jeff17_marks AT msn.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 09:14:47 -0800
Tom et al.,

Mid-February is the normal time for the first Varied Thrushes to show up and 
sing within the nesting range, and most are on territory by mid-March or so. 
It's a rather uncommon winter bird in Montana but has been recorded more than 
40 times on the state's CBCs since the 1960s. 


Jeff

*******************
Jeff Marks
4241 SE Liebe Street
Portland, OR 97206
503-774-4783
Birds of Montana Project
http://mtaudubon.org/
*******************
  ----- Original Message ----- 
 From: Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com 
[MOB-Montana] 

  To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2015 10:18 PM
  Subject: [MOB-Montana] Varied Thrush Glacier NP


    

  Hi MOB,
 I had a productive but fast trip to the Kalispell area with one of my big 
targets being Chestnut-backed Chickadee. After trying some places near Big Fork 
with no luck I headed into the West side of Glacier National Park this morning 
and at the Lincoln Lake Trailhead I came into a nice flock with some 
Golden-crowned Kinglets. The real shocker, however, hit me as I stepped out of 
my car I heard a long buzzy note. I started to dismiss it when it was repeated 
clearly and followed by several more, the unmistakable song of a Varied Thrush 
singing on territory on February 12. Does anyone know of any over wintering 
records for the park? I know they have stayed on habitat in the Idaho Panhandle 
before, but have never heard of it in NW MT. 


 Other highlights were several large flocks of Red Crossbills, Pine Siskins, a 
couple Common Redpolls, the ever present Steller's Jays and a lone Dipper on 
Snyder Creek at Lake McDonald lodge. Lake Mcdonald was basically all open but 
all I saw upon it were a handful of Common Mergansers and one male Belted 
Kingfisher. 

  All for now, Tom Forwood, back  in Bozeman 


  
Subject: Re: A Lesser Goldfinch, Rosy-Finches, Shields Valley, Helena
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 13 Feb 2015 07:06:41 -0800
I of course meant "Lesser Goldfinch". I should have had a little more coffee 
before posting! 


 If we were using a forum-based medium I could have edited the post itself.
 

 Cheers,
 Thomas Kallmeyer, Missoula

Subject: A Least Goldfinch, Rosy-Finches, Shields Valley, Helena
From: "thomaskallmeyer AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 13 Feb 2015 06:14:23 -0800
Greetings MOBsters,
 

 I've seen a few interesting birds recently, including a Least Goldfinch on 
February 7th at Scott Hampton's house in the Rattlesnake and got to meet Cory 
DeStein there as well, thanks Scott and Britt for a great afternoon and a great 
bird for Montana, especially in the winter. 

 

 On February 11 Katie Heath and I visited with David Coffin North of Bozeman 
and were very pleased to see a few hundred Rosy-Finches, including both 
subspecies of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch and at least 5 Black Rosy-Finch. A huge 
thanks to David for a wonderful morning and a life bird for both Katie and 
myself (Black Rosy-Finch). Photos posted to album T. Kallmeyer. Afterwards we 
checked out Milligan Canyon then headed to Livingston. There was a pair of 
Golden Eagles working on the nest in Milligan Canyon with quite a bit of new 
material added. 

 

 Yesterday we drove Swingley Road to Mission Creek Road East of Livingston and 
had amazing views of the Crazy Mountains along with the some of the usual 
suspects for that area: Black-billed Magpie, Golden Eagle, Clark's Nutcracker. 
We then headed up the Shields River valley to Helena and then Great Falls. We 
watched a pair of Golden Eagles mate on Shields River Road and checked the Lake 
Helena Causeway where there were a few waterfowl including Common Goldeneye, 
Mallard and Bufflehead along with 3 Bald Eagles and a few dozen Canada Geese. 
There is ice present in the open water around Helena but it looks to be rapidly 
retreating. 

 

 Good Birding,
 Thomas Kallmeyer, Missoula
Subject: Varied Thrush and other birds
From: "bjhoy AT localnet.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 01:51:49 -0500
Hi Tom and all,

Eugene Beckes of St. Ignitius, MT photographed a Varied Thrush and a 
White-throated Sparrow on Jan. 23 and a Varied Thrush on Jan. 24. He 
sent me photos that he took of one on those days and also earlier in 
January. I don't know if he has seen it since or recently, but it or a 
Varied Thrush had been observed in that area by him all fall and 
through January.

On Tuesday, February 10, my husband and I saw a lone swan, likely a 
Trumpeter Swan but could not identified positively,(too far away and 
flying while we were in a moving car) approximately 6 miles north of 
St. Regis on highway 135. The swan was flying down the Clark Fork 
river, going north northeast when we saw it.

Spring is here at our house 5 miles southeast of Stevensville. We have 
a crocus blooming and a robin was here today. Robins have been in the 
Bitterroot all winter but not at our place. There has been an Anna's 
Hummingbird reported in Ravalli County and one reported in Missoula 
County most of the winter, but not at our place. I don't know where 
either Anna's if there were two or it, if there was just one flying 
around a lot, are now. It would be great to get one on the GBBC, so 
everyone in Ravalli and Missoula County keep watch for an Anna's 
Hummingbird.

Best,
Judy Hoy
Stevensville, MT





------------------------------------
Posted by: bjhoy AT localnet.com
------------------------------------


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Subject: Varied Thrush Glacier NP
From: "Tom Forwood tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 23:18:00 -0700
Hi MOB,
I had a productive but fast trip to the Kalispell area with one of my big
targets being Chestnut-backed Chickadee.  After trying some places near Big
Fork with no luck I headed into the West side of Glacier National Park this
morning and at the Lincoln Lake Trailhead I came into a nice flock with
some Golden-crowned Kinglets. The real shocker, however, hit me as I
stepped out of my car I heard a long buzzy note. I started to dismiss it
when it was repeated clearly and followed by several more, the unmistakable
song of a Varied Thrush singing on territory on February 12. Does anyone
know of any over wintering records for the park? I know they have stayed on
habitat in the Idaho Panhandle before, but have never heard of it in NW MT.

Other highlights were several large flocks of Red Crossbills, Pine Siskins,
a couple Common Redpolls, the ever present Steller's Jays and a lone Dipper
on Snyder Creek at Lake McDonald lodge. Lake Mcdonald was basically all
open but all I saw upon it were a handful of Common Mergansers and one male
Belted Kingfisher.
All for now, Tom Forwood, back  in Bozeman
Subject: Re: Freezout Wed AM
From: "peterbuilt14 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 12 Feb 2015 05:13:36 -0800
Good morning Mike,
 

 Could you please contact me off list at peterbuilt14 AT yahoo.com.
 

 Thank you
 

 Doug
 

 

Subject: Freezout Wed AM
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:48:47 -0700
MOB,
I headed to Freezout Lake early this morning.  I found fog (and temps in 
the 20s).  Visibilities were about 2 miles by the Lake and 1/2 mile up 
on the Fairfield bench.  My main objective was to visit "my" 
Sharp-tailed Grouse lek north of Freezout.  I found it active with 18 
birds.
I found only about 400 Canada Geese in the fog.  Still about 1,000 
Mallards and a few additional Common Goldeneyes.  There was also a pair 
of Bald Eagles present.
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT




------------------------------------
Posted by: Michael Schwitters 
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Subject: Re: Thank you all who has responded so far (Out of state birder)
From: "jswanson AT legionaries.org [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 11 Feb 2015 06:17:46 -0800
Considering what others have said and my own experience in the Miles City area, 
I think if your main goal is to get McCown's Longspur and Greater Sage-Grouse, 
you have a better shot in the Glasgow area. I don't think you have much of a 
shot at these birds in Miles City and would be sorry if you came out and missed 
them. 


 We do have a lot of other good birds in Miles City.
 

 Glasgow is also a slightly shorter drive from Minot.
 

 James Swanson
 Atlanta/Miles City

Subject: Thank you all who has responded so far (Out of state birder)
From: "d.langhoff AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 10 Feb 2015 16:19:47 -0800
I wanted to give a big thanks to those of you who have responded so far 
regarding my upcoming June trip to NE Montana in search of Sage Grouse and 
McCown's Longspur. 

 

 Your insight is valuable and I am poring over all of the tips and suggestions. 
It does look like I may have to alter my strategies a bit. 

 

 Thank you all,
 

 Dan Langhoff
 Ramona, Californina
Subject: Freezoout Visitor
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 15:37:24 -0700
MOB,
Please note that I responded to Rox about visiting Freezout Lake, off line.
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT



------------------------------------
Posted by: Michael Schwitters 
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Subject: Helena Valley early gull
From: "birder_bob AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 10 Feb 2015 13:37:42 -0800
I checked with the folks at the Helena Valley Landfill this afternoon for any 
recent gull sightings. NADA! It is early yet. Then proceeded to Lake Helena 
Causeway, where there is lots of open water, and spotted a single herring gull. 
It is on the early side for gulls here but thought I'd check because of the 
week of very warm temps. Our gulls usually don't arrive back in the valley 
until very late Feb. or early March, when there is more open water for them to 
roost on. 


Bob Martinka
 

Subject: Freezeout Lake
From: "gaia_maid AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 10 Feb 2015 09:34:51 -0800
Hi MOB!
 I will be in the Great Falls area this week, and I wanted to make a day trip 
to Freezeout. I have never watched birds there before. 

 1. What area on the lake should I go to to look for the birds?
 2. Is there a time of day that is best?
 3. Is there any bird activity in the fields around the lake that I should be 
watching for? 

 

 Thanks for any help.
 

 Rox
Subject: Re: Out of stater coming in June for McCowns Longspur / Sage Grouse
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 10:21:14 -0700
Dan

I would offer to help you here in the Ft. Peck/Glasgow area but it appears your 
schedule would leave little time for a proper search. The end of June may be a 
difficult time to find grouse unless you are able to make some early morning 
driving to look for them along dirt roads in known areas. Hens will probably be 
with their chicks. 


Longspurs are likely but again, early mornings are best.

Chuck Carlson
Ft. Peck, MT

From: mailto:MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2015 2:06 PM
To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
Subject: [MOB-Montana] Out of stater coming in June for McCowns Longspur / Sage 
Grouse 


  

Hello Montana birders,




As stated in the title, I am a San Diego area birder planning a birding trip 
from Minnesota, through North Dakota and Eastern Montana this summer, 2015. 





I will be traveling from Minot, North Dakota on June 26th, staying in Miles 
City on the 26th and 27th, departing back to North Dakota on the 28th. My two 
target birds for Eastern Montana are McCown's Longspur and Sage Grouse. 





Can anyone provide good locations around Miles City for these two species? 
Based on my research, it looks like Glasgow / Fort Peck is reliable for 
McCown's Longspur and Sage Grouse seems to be resident year round. I realize 
the Grouse will be off their leks for the most part at this time of the year. 





Thanks for any suggestions in advance and if you are ever in the San Diego 
area, feel free to contact me for some great birding! 





regards,




Dan Langhoff

Ramona, CA



Subject: Re: Out of stater coming in June for McCowns Longspur / Sage Grouse
From: "'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 09:10:22 -0800




Subject: Re: Out of stater coming in June for McCowns Longspur / Sage Grouse
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 10 Feb 2015 05:47:47 -0800
Dan,

A quick look into P. Skaar's Montana Bird Distribution Seventh Edition booklet 
indicates that the two Montana cities that are likely to a have a nearby 
population of those two species are Roundup and Glasgow. The Ingomar area has 
been reliable for Greater Sage Grouse later in the summer. 


This publication can be found on line and its many, many year data base can be 
downloaded by species into an Excel file which gives dates of observation. 


Mike Lesnik
N 31.56   W 109.71
All night crane serenade
Subject: Snowy Owls in the Cut Bank area
From: "sunsetseeker78 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 09 Feb 2015 20:23:51 -0800
Today I was treated to three different Snowy Owls north of cut Bank. All were 
seen/visible from Tipville Rd. i have heard of reports of a few others from the 
Cut Bank area in the last couple weeks. Checking Ebird, it looks like this is 
on par with what people are finding in the NE part of the state. Hopefully 
someone will fill the spaces between here and there. 

 

 Cheers!
 Tom M.