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Updated on Sunday, September 14 at 11:54 PM EST
The most recently received Mail is at the top.


Black Francolin,©Jan Wilczur

14 Sep Scalplock Lookout ["paul rossi polovetsian AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
14 Sep West Bank = Just a Few Birds ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
14 Sep Re: California Quail ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
14 Sep California Quail ["Patricia Mclaughlin 2birders AT bresnan.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
12 Sep White-throated Swifts ["'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
11 Sep Jewel Basin Hawk Watch ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
09 Sep Poll results for MOB-Montana []
08 Sep Sanderlings ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
07 Sep Re: Ovenbird Bitterroot Valley September ["Kristi DuBois kdubois AT montana.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
06 Sep Ovenbird Bitterroot Valley September ["martinvanburenbell AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
04 Sep Shorebirds at Broadview ["calidris AT surewest.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
04 Sep WS WMA, Sept. 4 Survey ["birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
04 Sep Bay-breasted warbler, Cut Bank, 9-4-2014 ["kathleenatkins AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
04 Sep New poll for MOB-Montana []
4 Sep Re: Plumbeous Vireos in Billings ["gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
03 Sep Plumbeous Vireos in Billings ["calidris AT surewest.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
03 Sep Sunset Show at Cottonwood Reservoir, QQLL 29C3 ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
03 Sep Re: ["tarnsnet AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
3 Sep (unknown) ["David Narins birderd_1 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
02 Sep Townsend's Warbler - new species for QQLL 39B3 ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
31 Aug Blue Grosbeak ["kbh.eah.sah AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
30 Aug Bird migration in Bozeman ["calidris AT surewest.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
30 Aug Re: Poof! They're Gone ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
30 Aug Poof! They're Gone ["Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
30 Aug Harlequin Duck on the Madison River ["'Robin' pajaros AT wewolcotts.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
29 Aug World Shorebirds Day, 6 September ["gyorgy.szimuly AT me.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
29 Aug (MOB-Montana) LITTLE GULL has returned ["Craig Hohenberger asoleado2003 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
29 Aug Semipalmated Plover, Farm Road ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Aug WS WMA August 28, Survey ["birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
28 Aug Lewis & Clark Caverns late August update ["Tom Forwood Jr tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
27 Aug re hummers and warblers in saco ["twobirdbrains AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
27 Aug Re: Hummers and Warblers in Saco ["Craig Hohenberger asoleado2003 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
27 Aug Ruby-throats in Malta ["tfprell AT mtintouch.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Hummers and Warblers in Saco ["twobirdbrains AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Re: Re: Sage Grouse locations in eBird ["Jim Williams woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Re: Sage Grouse locations in eBird ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Re: Re: new member ["Jim Williams woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Re: Re: new member ["Jim Williams woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Re: Re: new member ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Re: Re: new member ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Re: Re: new member ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug RE: Good visit to Benton Lake NWR ["'Doug Hansen' mthusker AT charter.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug The Murmurations Begin ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Good visit to Benton Lake NWR ["daellison70 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Re: Re: new member ["Jim Williams woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
26 Aug Re: new member ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
25 Aug From the West Bank ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
25 Aug new member ["Jim woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
25 Aug Re: Herring Gulls in Somers ["'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
25 Aug Herring Gulls in Somers ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
24 Aug Re: Dark Small Gulls ["grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
24 Aug No Kite seen at Chico [2 Attachments] ["'Robin' pajaros AT wewolcotts.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
24 Aug Re: Dark Small Gulls ["'Jeff' jeff17_marks AT msn.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
24 Aug Dark Small Gulls ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Aug Re: Re: Benton Lake and One-way traffic ["Kristi DuBois kdubois AT montana.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
23 Aug Likely (?) White-tailed Kite near Chico Hot Springs ["amy AT mtaudubon.org [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Aug Scenic route to Moorhead freshly bladed! ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
20 Aug ID help ["deborahcabin AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
19 Aug Re: Benton Lake and One-way traffic ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
19 Aug Re: Benton Lake ["gr8gray AT frontiernet.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug left out some shorebirds ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Freezout A.M. ["birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Warbler Migration ["marcurejm AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Benton Lake ["Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug No more Thrasher ["'Robin' pajaros AT wewolcotts.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Re: Garganey retraction...a learning opportunity ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Re: Garganey retraction...a learning opportunity ["'Jeff' jeff17_marks AT msn.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Re: Garganey retraction...a learning opportunity ["Lonna Gray lonnag AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Garganey retraction...a learning opportunity ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Re: Possible Garganey, Somers ["James Oates oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Sagebrush Sparrow late summer records? ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
18 Aug Fishtail Western Bluebird - Second Hatch Confirmed ["vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
17 Aug Re: Possible Garganey, Somers ["danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
17 Aug Benton Lake ["Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
16 Aug (unknown) ["James Hayes ichibon2013 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]
16 Aug (Flathead) Possible Garganey--NO in A.M. ["bennywayne AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" ]

Subject: Scalplock Lookout
From: "paul rossi polovetsian AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 22:27:17 -0600
A hike up Scalplock Lookout yesterday yielded Black-capped, Mountain, and 
Chestnut-backed Chickadees. Several Brown Creepers called from the trees, along 
with Red-breasted Nuthatches and Golden-crowned Kinglets. I saw several 
Northern Goshawks cruise by, including one that got dive-bombed by a 
Sharp-shinned Hawk. Several Gray Jays hung out near the lookout. 

As a side-note, I've seen a number of Clark's Nutcrackers at lower elevations 
the past two weeks both in Kalispell and Columbia Falls. It seems like a great 
year for them. 

Paul RossiColumbia Falls 		 	   		  
Subject: West Bank = Just a Few Birds
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 21:50:05 -0600
A few migrants and residents recently in the West Bank Park area in Great
Falls.
I start in the morning - 6 am is before sunrise now so sometimes I hear the
migrants flying or even taking off from the river.  Saturday morning it was
some small songbird and 70-80 blue-winged teal (I was able to see some of
them as it got lighter).
Otherwise there have been yellow-rumped warblers, a few different sparrows
(clay-colored, chipping, white-crowned and song), still have a few gray
catbirds and baby morning doves (they can barely fly).  If the timing is
right there will be several thousands of grackle/blackbird/starlings
leaving the island after a night roost - or arriving in the evening.  No
big murmurations yet.
On the river - Franklin's gulls still outnumber the ringbills although
their numbers are slowly decreasing.  Coots, eared grebes and western
grebes have shown up this week.  Pelicans and cormorants are still hanging
around.  The osprey I had been monitoring the past month (saw it almost
twice a day) hasn't been seen in the past week.
The river has been high or higher all summer and still remains pretty high
with little in the way of loafing sand bars.
Tonight there was a murder of two and twenty crows feasting on Russian
olives.  Counted 11, but 22 exited the tree.  How can something the size of
a crow hide in a Russian olive?
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: Re: California Quail
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 14 Sep 2014 17:12:39 -0700
Pat: 

 It is not legal to release California Quail, but it gets done anyway. The only 
place where the Montana Bird Record Committee accepts that the species has 
become established is the Bitterrroot Valley. 

 

 Dan Casey
 Somers
 

Subject: California Quail
From: "Patricia Mclaughlin 2birders AT bresnan.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 10:55:16 -0600
Sunny greetings, MOB-sters...
    For the second morning, we identified a covey of six California 
Quail at Wiley Dike Yesterday there were calls, but not today. The covey 
was at the dike on the south side yesterday. Today, they were a bit up 
the road and on the east side near the water....I believe Dan Casey and 
others discussed that the quail may have been brought in as game birds. 
True??  Fun find, anyway.
     Happy birding!
     Pat McLaughlin & Glenn Violette
     Happy Valley, Whitefish, MT


------------------------------------
Posted by: Patricia Mclaughlin <2birders AT bresnan.net>
------------------------------------


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Subject: White-throated Swifts
From: "'John Carlson' jccarlson AT surfbirder.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:37:43 -0700




Subject: Jewel Basin Hawk Watch
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 11 Sep 2014 14:21:37 -0700
MOB-sters:
 

 The annual Jewel Basin Hawk Watch is up and running for the season, with 357 
birds counted over our first 11 days of surveys. Migration should peak over the 
next three weeks, and we are always glad to have extra sets of eyes on the 
ridge, so please consider making the trip. Anyone who is interested in details 
can contact me, but there will be someone on site every day that weather allows 
(yesterday, not so much!). Directions have been posted before; just enter 
"Jewel Basin" in the Search Conversations box on the MOB website. Totals 
through 9 September: 

 

 Bald Eagle: 1
 Northern Harrier: 12
 Sharp-shinned Hawk: 164
 Cooper's Hawk: 65
 Northern Goshawk: 10
 Unid. Accipiter: 11
 Red-tailed Hawk: 46
 Golden Eagle: 16
 American Kestrel: 22
 Merlin: 7
 Prairie Falcon: 1
 Unid. Falcon: 1
 Unid. Raptor: 1
 

 There's no better place in the state to work on Accipiter identification!
 

 Dan Casey
 Somers
Subject: Poll results for MOB-Montana
From: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com
Date: 09 Sep 2014 18:47:42 -0700
The following MOB-Montana poll is now closed. Here are the
final results




August Photo of the Month Contest time. Please have your votes in by September 
8, 2014. 

Created by: mccownii




1. Common Yellowthroat 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439332 
0.00%(0) 

2. Solitary Sandpiper 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439359 
12.12%(4) 

3. Ruby-throated Hummingbird 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439360 
12.12%(4) 

4. Townsend's Warbler 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439333 
6.06%(2) 

5. Red-necked Grebe 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439361 
15.15%(5) 

6. Cassin's Finch 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439342 
3.03%(1) 

7. Merriam's Wild Turkey 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439362 
6.06%(2) 

8. Trumpeter Swan 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439343 
18.18%(6) 

9. Eared Grebe 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439344 
3.03%(1) 

10. Barn Swallow 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439363 
24.24%(8) 







For more information about this group, please visit
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana




For help with Yahoo!Groups, please visit
http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/groups/original/members/forms/general.html


Subject: Sanderlings
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 08 Sep 2014 10:04:04 -0700
MOB-sters:
 

 Apparently the time is right for migrating Sanderlings. I saw a number of them 
just south of Sunburst in Toole County yesterday, and today there were 2 on the 
Farm Road slough at Somers. 

 

 Dan Casey
 Somers
Subject: Re: Ovenbird Bitterroot Valley September
From: "Kristi DuBois kdubois AT montana.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2014 21:44:08 -0600




Subject: Ovenbird Bitterroot Valley September
From: "martinvanburenbell AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 06 Sep 2014 11:18:21 -0700
Window killed ovenbird from Stevensville now in a vets refrigerator in 
Hamilton. 

 The vet tech there is a warbler bander and her friend brought it her. Can get 
a photo on Monday if it helps. 

 Martin Bell in Hamilton

Subject: Shorebirds at Broadview
From: "calidris AT surewest.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 04 Sep 2014 23:10:00 -0700
If you enjoy shorebirds, a great passion of mine, then the Broadview area will 
delight you. I drove out of Billings this afternoon towards Broadview on Hwy. 
3. Nearing Broadview I turned north on Cemetery Road and drove north about 5 
miles. This area is known as the Spidel WPA. Water conditions are excellent for 
shorebirds and afternoon is the best time since most viewing (water) is to the 
east. A scope is very helpful although many birds are quite close to the road. 

 

 Highlights included included over 200 Baird's Sandpipers along with 125 
Killdeer. Also noted were many Semipalmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, and a 
scattering of Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpipers, 
Red-necked Phalaropes, American Avocets, a Solitary Sandpiper, and a 
Semipalmated Plover. Oddly, no Dowitchers were sighted. Four Black Terns, a 
Bald Eagle, a Prairie Falcon, and migrating American Pipits added to the 
interest. 

 

 Two days earlier, a Sanderling and four White-faced Ibis were in the mix. 
There are hundreds of "brown" ducks present, a fun, but demanding challenge at 
this time of year. Altogether, my visit here produced 38 species, somewhat 
ameliorating the fact I was missing the Seattle Sea Hawks vs. Green Bay Packers 
game. But birding trumps football! 

 

 Enjoy the migration,
 

 Ed Harper
 Boeman/Sacramento
Subject: WS WMA, Sept. 4 Survey
From: "birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 04 Sep 2014 19:08:36 -0700
Hi All, (September 4, 2014 Report)
  
 The weather today was clear, calm winds, and temperatures between 38 F and 60 
F. 

  
 WS WMA increased in individual substantially today over last week. This week 
there were 10,500 individuals with 65 species compared to 3,000 individuals 
with 55 species last week. 

  
 There were 2 new year species today, a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, and a 
Semi-palmated Plover. That brings the total species for 2014 to 158 out the 
total ever seen of 214. 

  
 Highlights:
 Species over 100 were Canada Goose – 420, American Wigeon – 925, Mallard 
– 1,650, Ring-necked Duck – 200, Lesser Scaup - 600, Bufflehead - 100, 
Eared Grebe - 125, and American Coot – 5,800. 

  
 Double-crested Cormorants have decreased from a high of 160 to 14. No American 
White Pelicans was been seen for two weeks. 

  
 I saw two Horned Grebes today, they are the first this fall season. There were 
also four species of warblers; Orange-crowned, Yellow-rump, Common 
Yellowthroat, and Wilson’s. 

  
 Mudflats are beginning to return in several ponds and numbers of shorebirds 
are up because of it. Shorebirds and waders included; Semi-palmated Plover – 
1, Black-necked Stilt - 4, American Avocet – 8, Killdeer – 2, Spotted 
Sandpiper – 25, Greater Yellowlegs – 4, Lesser Yellowlegs – 1, Sanderling 
-1, Baird’s Sandpiper – 12, Pectorial Sandpiper -4, Wilson’s Phalarope 
– 6, and Red-necked Phalarope – 4. With the edition of the Semi-palmated 
Plover, I have seen 20 wader and shorebird species, so far this year. 

  
 Summary of Ponds: 
  
 ARCO Ponds – 50 species, 10,506 individuals with 93% of the total. 
  
 Sewage Ponds – 13 species, 63 individuals with < 1% of the total.  
  
 Job Corps Ponds – 10 species, 84 individuals with 1% of the total.  
   
 Duck’s Unlimited Ponds – 22 species, 572 individuals with 6% of the total. 

  
 Gary Swant
 
 Deer Lodge
 

Subject: Bay-breasted warbler, Cut Bank, 9-4-2014
From: "kathleenatkins AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 04 Sep 2014 18:33:15 -0700
Hey all,
 

 Tom Magarian and I birded the swimming pool park in Cut Bank this morning, and 
were rewarded with warblers (Townsend's, Redstart, Wilson's, Yellow, 
Orange-crowned), and this and that (Pine Siskin, White-crowned Sparrow, 
Warbling Vireo, Red-breasted Nuthatch). Plus one more that was rather obliging 
for photos, for a warbler: Bay-breasted. 

 

 I'll post photos in the Photo section if I can figure it out... In the 
meantime, I've posted pics to the Montana Birders facebook page, and have 
posted them to my personal Flickr account as well: 


 

 BBWA Cut Bank 09.04.2014 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kisforkateatkins/sets/72157647247769645/ 


 

 
 
 BBWA Cut Bank 09.04.2014 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kisforkateatkins/sets/72157647247769645/show 
kisforkate's BBWA Cut Bank 09.04.2014 set 

 
 
 
 View on www.flickr.com 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kisforkateatkins/sets/72157647247769645/show 

 Preview by Yahoo 
 
 
 

 I'd also like to say a very belated thank you to Molly and Don in Saco for 
letting us poke around their yard in the springtime. We dipped on the good 
birds but certainly scored on meeting good people! 

 

 Good birding!
 Kate Atkins (and Tom Magarian)
 

 

Subject: New poll for MOB-Montana
From: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com
Date: 04 Sep 2014 15:54:14 -0700
Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the MOB-Montana group:


August Photo of the Month Contest time. Please have your votes in by September 
8, 2014. 

Created by: mccownii




1. Common Yellowthroat 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439332 

2. Solitary Sandpiper 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439359 

3. Ruby-throated Hummingbird 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439360 

4. Townsend's Warbler 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439333 

5. Red-necked Grebe 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439361 

6. Cassin's Finch 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439342 

7. Merriam's Wild Turkey 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439362 

8. Trumpeter Swan 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439343 

9. Eared Grebe 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439344 

10. Barn Swallow 
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MOB-Montana/polls/poll/13221442#122439363 







Thanks!


Subject: Re: Plumbeous Vireos in Billings
From: "gary swant birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2014 16:41:35 -0400 (EDT)
Ed, 


I would be interested in leading a field trip or two at the Western Field 
Ornithologist meeting in June. I think those dates are the week after the 
Montana Audubon meeting in Helena. Let me know if you are interested in having 
me lead. 



I have a daughter that lives in Billings so it would work well. 


Gary Swant 
. 

----- Original Message -----

From: "calidris AT surewest.net [MOB-Montana]"  
To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
Sent: Thursday, September 4, 2014 12:49:18 AM 
Subject: [MOB-Montana] Plumbeous Vireos in Billings 






Today (Sept. 3) I was exploring some possible locations for half-day tours for 
the June 2015 meeting of the Western Field Ornithologists. I visited Norm 
Schoenthal Island near the Montana Audubon Center and found the area productive 
in spite of the late date, increasing wind, and lots of dogs off leash. I was 
most surprised to find four Plumbeous Vireos, all noted by first hearing their 
rather continuous vocalizations. The most productive area of the 2.1 mile loop 
trail was at the point of land where the channel exits the Yellowstone River. 
Other birds included two Blackpoll Warblers along with a number of Yellow 
Warblers, 

Wilson's Warblers, an American Redstart, and a couple of Warbling Vireos. 
Yellow-breasted Chats are still present and Gray Catbirds are numerous. 



If any of you are interested in helping to lead some trips, either half-day or 
full day, in the Billings region during the period 11 - 14 June (get a free 
membership in WFO!), let me know! Some of our trips will go as far as Harlowton 
and Red Lodge while others will be closer in to locations like Pompey's Pillar, 
Molt, and Two Moon Park. I am open to suggestions for some of your favorite 
field trip possibilities, too. 




Thanks, 


Ed Harper 
Bozeman/Sacramento 
calidris AT surewest.net 

 
Subject: Plumbeous Vireos in Billings
From: "calidris AT surewest.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 03 Sep 2014 23:49:18 -0700
Today (Sept. 3) I was exploring some possible locations for half-day tours for 
the June 2015 meeting of the Western Field Ornithologists. I visited Norm 
Schoenthal Island near the Montana Audubon Center and found the area productive 
in spite of the late date, increasing wind, and lots of dogs off leash. I was 
most surprised to find four Plumbeous Vireos, all noted by first hearing their 
rather continuous vocalizations. The most productive area of the 2.1 mile loop 
trail was at the point of land where the channel exits the Yellowstone River. 
Other birds included two Blackpoll Warblers along with a number of Yellow 
Warblers, 

 Wilson's Warblers, an American Redstart, and a couple of Warbling Vireos. 
Yellow-breasted Chats are still present and Gray Catbirds are numerous. 

 

 If any of you are interested in helping to lead some trips, either half-day or 
full day, in the Billings region during the period 11 - 14 June (get a free 
membership in WFO!), let me know! Some of our trips will go as far as Harlowton 
and Red Lodge while others will be closer in to locations like Pompey's Pillar, 
Molt, and Two Moon Park. I am open to suggestions for some of your favorite 
field trip possibilities, too. 


 

 Thanks,
 

 Ed Harper
 Bozeman/Sacramento
 calidris AT surewest.net
Subject: Sunset Show at Cottonwood Reservoir, QQLL 29C3
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 03 Sep 2014 19:16:09 -0700
At least three dozen Common Nighthawks performed their aerial routine set to 
the calls of an unknown number of Sandhill Cranes. 

 

 Very limited shoreline to be checked in the morning.
 

 Mike Lesnik
 Park County

Subject: Re:
From: "tarnsnet AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 03 Sep 2014 16:26:51 -0700
Welcome David! Creston Wetland is just North of the town of Creston in Montana 
which should show up on a Google map search (Creston, MT) without a problem. 
Note Creston Road that runs to the North from an intersection with Route 35, 
drive North on Creston Road for a few minutes and the wetland will come into 
view on your left. 


 Good Luck and Good Birding,
 Thomas Kallmeyer, Missoula
Subject: (unknown)
From: "David Narins birderd_1 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2014 15:34:48 -0700

Greetings...
 
I shall be staying in Columbia Falls and would like some information on seeing 
the Little Gull. My Google only shows Creston Wetlands to be in BC. Is that 
right? Are there more than one Creston Wetlands? We (my wife, Ludmila (Mila) 
and myself) shall be there from the morning of the 4th until the morning of the 
9th with plans to go birding. I do have the birding guide to Montana but if 
there were any more up-to-the-minute bits of information I would appreciate 
same. 

 
Thanks...glad to be aboard.
 
David Narins
Sarasota, Florida
Subject: Townsend's Warbler - new species for QQLL 39B3
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 02 Sep 2014 19:23:12 -0700
MOB,

A long, mostly wet, weekend at the West Boulder Ranger Station (campground and 
Forest Service Trails 14 and 41) produced 41 species. Best of three Montana 
Year Birds was the above; along with Ruffed Grouse and Wilson's Warbler. My 
primary target, Pine Grosbeak, was not seen. Also totally absent were Spotted 
Towhee and House Wren. 


So far this afternoon the Convict Grade west of Hunters Hot Springs; and Sheep 
Mountain Fishing Access Site have added 12 day birds (25+/-) with eight of 
those increasing the QQLL total to 49. 


If you go: the Ranger Station rental cabin has been discovered and must be 
reserved months in advance. Campground has about a dozen spaces - half with 
shade, fire rings and tables. Two potable water sources, a vault toilet and 
horse hitching rails. No cell signal! 


Trail 14, Grouse Creek Trail (my favorite) climbs about 700 ft in the first 
mile (4 switch backs) and then just another 200 in the next 1.5 miles to the 
far end of the Nurses Lakes when it enters private property as it continues to 
the Main Boulder. Very little of this was affected by the 2006 Jungle Burn. 
Trail 41 climbs just 200 feet in the 2.5 miles to the upper end of the West 
Boulder Meadows (there are gradual ups and downs as it skirts the Burnt Leather 
Ranch and crosses a pack bridge at about the halfway point The near total burn 
is entered about a mile from camp. 


Mike Lesnik
Park County


 

Subject: Blue Grosbeak
From: "kbh.eah.sah AT hotmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 31 Aug 2014 11:41:28 -0700
On 8/30 Raylene Wall and Stan Heath saw a male Blue Grosbeak on Pryor Mtn Road 
about 1/2 mile before the RR X-ing and just before the left turn,The bird was 
perched in the open on the right side of the road in mixed tree/shrub area. 
Call stan if you need further directions 425-1791. 2 brown thrashers after the 
pond. Broad-winged hawk up Nichol's Creek west of Red Lodge. Stan Heath 
Subject: Bird migration in Bozeman
From: "calidris AT surewest.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 30 Aug 2014 20:30:35 -0700
With rain and clouds here, the abrupt change in weather has heralded the 
arrival of birds. I have been checking the East Gallatin Recreation Area (EGRA) 
and, although it is but a small patch of the Bozeman region, birds do appear to 
be showing up. Yesterday it was a Black-and-white Warbler, an unexpected 
species for here. Today started out with a Common Loon on the EGRA pond along 
with an influx of Eared Grebes. The trails in the riparian area were loaded 
with birds. With a good berry crop to attract them, hordes of Cedar Waxwings 
along with fair numbers of Swainson's Thrushes, American Robins, and Western 
Tanagers were feasting. Gray Catbirds seemed to be everywhere and Warbling 
Vireos were easy to view. A flock of a dozen or so Eastern Kingbirds was 
clearly on the move. Warblers included good numbers of Wilson's and Yellow 
Warblers augmented by American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, and Northern 
Waterthrush. Black-headed Grosbeak and Evening Grosbeaks were also a part of 
the action. Rain finally forced me to go indoors; otherwise I think I would 
have been birding all day! If the EGRA is producing so well, I am sure other 
good pockets of habitat are likewise worth exploring. 

 

 Good luck,
 

 Ed Harper
 Bozeman/Sacramento
Subject: Re: Poof! They're Gone
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:03:25 -0600
Maybe not gone for good - Thursday evening I could count the Franklin's
Gulls off the West Bank area (104) but Friday evening I had to count them
by "about 100" (1500-2000 or more).  It's been going up and down the past
week. I've wondered if they are the same gulls coming and going or
different groups each day.  Although - this is the time of year that they
do start to "disappear" for good.  This morning I saw 300-500 in the
sunrise gloom.  Here they may raft overnight, but when the sun comes up -
off they go - only to return in the evening.  Raises questions about their
behavior.
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: Poof! They're Gone
From: "Michael Schwitters schwit AT 3rivers.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:47:36 -0600
MOB,
I visited Freezout Lake this morning.  I started the day at Pond 4 
(Point L on the birding brochure) I found few birds.  There had been 
hundreds of Francklin's Gulls the day before and the pond had been 
covered with brown ducks...hardly anything on the water today.  I guess 
the birds said it was time to migrate.
On the better side there were two Sanderlings in their winter "white" 
plumage (Point N).  Two visits ago (27 Aug) there were three 
Semipalmated  Plovers at the parking area just west of the 
Headquarters...an unusual location for that species.
Mike Schwitters
Choteau MT



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


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Subject: Harlequin Duck on the Madison River
From: "'Robin' pajaros AT wewolcotts.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2014 06:57:39 -0600
Hi Mobsters,

 

Over the last two days Richard and I floated and fished the Madison River
above Ennis.  On both days we enjoyed close encounters with a lone female
plumaged Harlequin Duck on the river just above Ruby Creek Campground.  That
is definitely a first sighting for our many fishing trips there!

 

Robin Wolcott

Bozeman

 
Subject: World Shorebirds Day, 6 September
From: "gyorgy.szimuly AT me.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 29 Aug 2014 16:30:14 -0700
Dear Birdwatchers,
 

 You might have heard about the World Shorebirds Day to be held on 6 September, 
2014 for the first time. One of the key programs of this special day is the 
Global Shorebird Counting, which is a public awareness initiative. I ask all 
Montana birders to take part in the counting in any areas where shorebirds 
occur. Don't worry, if there are no huge number of shorebirds in your area. We 
don't ask money to help. We just ask to go out birding, what every birdwatcher 
love to do anyway. 

 

 Please consider supporting this initiative and register your location on our 
website. By registering a location you can be a part of a draw to win a 
fantastic bird book package worth about £150. 

 

 Registration of the location and more details about the Global Shorebird 
Counting Program can be found here: http://goo.gl/jNW1VG http://goo.gl/jNW1VG 

 

 The map with more than 340 already registered locations can be viewed here: 
http://goo.gl/ICpB7X http://goo.gl/ICpB7X 

 

 Thanks for your time and please help us to reach our goal of having a thousand 
locations registered by 6th of September 2014. 

 

 Best wishes, Szimi
 _
 Gyorgy Szimuly
 Coordinator of the Global Events of the World Shorebirds Day
 Milton Keynes, UK
 
 http://worldshorebirdsday.wordpress.com/ 
http://worldshorebirdsday.wordpress.com/ 
Subject: (MOB-Montana) LITTLE GULL has returned
From: "Craig Hohenberger asoleado2003 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:04:46 -0700
Mob:

The Little Gull was found today after an absence of 8 days. It has now been at 
Creston Wetlands for a month! 


cheers, Craig Hohenberger
Creston
Subject: Semipalmated Plover, Farm Road
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 29 Aug 2014 09:23:53 -0700
MOB-sters:
 

 A Semipalmated Plover at the Farm Road slough near Somers this morning was the 
19th shorebird species seen there over the past month. There was also a Merlin 
working the starling and shorebird flocks. 

 

 Dan Casey
 Somers
Subject: WS WMA August 28, Survey
From: "birdmontana1 AT hughes.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 28 Aug 2014 16:07:03 -0700
Hi All, (August 24, 2014 Report)
  
 The weather today was clear, calm winds, and temperatures between 46 F and 65 
F. 

  
 WS WMA was pretty quiet today. This week there were 3,000 individuals with 55 
species compared to 4,400 individuals with 70 species last week. 

  
 Surprisingly, there was one new species today, a Loggerhead Shrike. This is a 
very uncommon species in our valley. I have only seen it once before and that 
was this spring about 4 miles from the WMA. Perhaps it is the same bird. That 
makes 154 species for the year and a new species for the WMA. The total species 
I have seen now at the WMA is 214. Not bad for some 6,400 acres of land. 

  
 Highlights:
 Species over 100 were Mallard – 540, Ring-necked Duck – 220, Lesser Scaup 
700, and American Coot – 900. 

  
 Double-crested Cormorants have decreased from 117 to 38, and there were no 
American White Pelicans seen for the first time in at least 10 weeks. 

  
 With the nearly 2 inches of rain last weekend, the ponds have refilled with 
water, and there is virtually no shorebird habitat. Shorebirds and waders 
included; Black-necked Stilt - 1, American Avocet – 1, Killdeer – 2, 
Spotted Sandpiper – 7, Greater Yellowlegs – 1, Wilson’s Phalarope – 6, 
and Red-necked Phalarope – 8. 

  
 Summary of Ponds: 
  
 ARCO Ponds – 43 species, 2,430 individuals with 82% of the total. 
  
 Sewage Ponds – 8 species, 80 individuals with 3% of the total.  
  
 Job Corps Ponds – 8 species, 70 individuals with 3% of the total.  
   
 Duck’s Unlimited Ponds – 19 species, 400 individuals with 14% of the 
total. 

  
 Gary Swant
 
 Deer Lodge
 

Subject: Lewis & Clark Caverns late August update
From: "Tom Forwood Jr tjfishing75 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:14:02 -0600
Hi Folks,
     The birding took a step up here with migration and fledged birds 
becoming much more active. The 4 species you can hardly miss are 
Mountain Bluebird, Clark's Nutcracker, Rock Wren and Red-breasted 
Nuthatch. They all seemed to have a good recruitment this year and are 
fairly ubiquitous in the park (in appropriate habitats). Waves of 
Chipping Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers are also hitting us the 
last couple days and the Townsend's Solitaires are becoming more active 
and apparent. Still hearing Canyon Wrens regularly and both species of 
Towhee though Green-taileds are tough work right now, but still around. 
Also, each of the last 3 days I've heard 1 or 2 Cassin's Vireo singing. 
Twice it was driving the park road, so it is definitely loud and proud.
     Migrant news: There was a young Cooper's Hawk on the nature trail 
area yesterday that was very curious and actually followed me around, 
some of the best looks I've ever had of a Cooper's. I also spotted a 
couple Wilson's Warblers yesterday and for me the migrant highlight was 
2 juvenile Townsend's Warblers atop the Greer Gulch loop trail yesterday 
evening.
     Lastly at just before 9PM last night I heard 2 Common Poorwills 
counter singing above the Cave Visitor Center. very cool for late August!
         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 Jr 
------------------------------------


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Subject: re hummers and warblers in saco
From: "twobirdbrains AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 27 Aug 2014 17:15:39 -0700
Craig,
 Whenever you stop by will be fine. We should be around and if not ..enjoy bird 
watching in the yard anyways. 

 The hummer wars continue today. We had way more then 10 yesterday.. we just 
err on the side of caution. We have 9 feeders up and there were hummers ( more 
then one ) on most of them. They are not quite as thick today.. only about 15. 
We would love to have the 100s that the person in Malta reported. 

   The warblers are still arriving so at the moment birdwatching is great.
                                                     Minneraths
                                                         Saco, MT
Subject: Re: Hummers and Warblers in Saco
From: "Craig Hohenberger asoleado2003 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:04:30 -0700
Don & Holly:

I will be passing by your place on the way to Westby and I was wondering if I 
may stop by and check your feeders and yard?  I will probably be coming 
through on Sept. 3rd!  I hear good things about the birds your yard has 
produced! 


take care, Craig Hohenberger



On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:55 PM, "twobirdbrains AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" 
 wrote: 

 


  
Banner year for hummers in our yd. We regularly have had 4-8/day since the end 
of July and today at 

least 10 --including 2 male ruby throats. The majority have been 
immature/female black-chinned and ruby throat w/ around 30% being adult males. 
Several rufous and some others that we were unable to identify. 

  In warbler news we have a lot of black & white, american redstarts, wilsons, 
orange crowned, tennesee, common yellow throat, ovenbird, northern water 
thrush, blackpoll and macgillivrays. 

  Also still have baltimore orioles, catbirds, brown thrasher,red eyed 
vireo, says phoebes etc etc in w/ many flycatchers and ruby crowned kinglets 
and red breasted nuthatches about. Also to our delight after a return from a 
camping trip a eastern screech owl was sitting on our air conditioner... hope 
he stays around. 

  Also Leah told us to put in that we had franklin gulls and snipes wading 
thru the water in our yd 


                                                          
Don & Holly Minnerath 


                                                              
Saco, MT 
Subject: Ruby-throats in Malta
From: "tfprell AT mtintouch.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 27 Aug 2014 06:24:34 -0700
The hummers are also in Malta. I've had 4 in my yard since the rain. A lady 
called on Monday to report hundreds in her yard. Her 4 hummingbird feeders had 
to be refilled 3 times during the day. 

 

 Fritz Prellwitz
Subject: Hummers and Warblers in Saco
From: "twobirdbrains AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Aug 2014 19:55:42 -0700
Banner year for hummers in our yd. We regularly have had 4-8/day since the end 
of July and today at 

 least 10 --including 2 male ruby throats. The majority have been 
immature/female black-chinned and ruby throat w/ around 30% being adult males. 
Several rufous and some others that we were unable to identify. 

 In warbler news we have a lot of black & white, american redstarts, wilsons, 
orange crowned, tennesee, common yellow throat, ovenbird, northern water 
thrush, blackpoll and macgillivrays. 

 Also still have baltimore orioles, catbirds, brown thrasher,red eyed vireo, 
says phoebes etc etc in w/ many flycatchers and ruby crowned kinglets and red 
breasted nuthatches about. Also to our delight after a return from a camping 
trip a eastern screech owl was sitting on our air conditioner... hope he stays 
around. 

 Also Leah told us to put in that we had franklin gulls and snipes wading thru 
the water in our yd 

 Don & Holly Minnerath 

                                                               Saco, MT
Subject: Re: Re: Sage Grouse locations in eBird
From: "Jim Williams woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:12:31 -0500
Thanks. 

Jim Williams
birding blog at www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/blogs/Wingnut.html



> On Aug 26, 2014, at 5:04 PM, "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" 
 wrote: 

> 
> Mike, et al:
> 
> 
> The fact that very few of the grouse locations in eBird (or MBD for that 
matter) are in the fall merely reflects the fact that most of the data have 
been entered during the lekking season. Since grouse spend the vast majority of 
their life cycle within a few miles of their leks (for the most part), spring 
locations should certainly still be good places to look in the fall. 

> 
> Dan Casey
> 
Subject: Re: Sage Grouse locations in eBird
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Aug 2014 15:04:29 -0700
Mike, et al: 

 The fact that very few of the grouse locations in eBird (or MBD for that 
matter) are in the fall merely reflects the fact that most of the data have 
been entered during the lekking season. Since grouse spend the vast majority of 
their life cycle within a few miles of their leks (for the most part), spring 
locations should certainly still be good places to look in the fall. 

 

 Dan Casey
Subject: Re: Re: new member
From: "Jim Williams woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:40:50 -0500
Thank you.

Jim Williams
birding blog at www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/blogs/Wingnut.html



> On Aug 26, 2014, at 1:51 PM, "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" 
 wrote: 

> 
> Mike, et al:  
> 
> 
> Using the "Explore Data" function in eBird reveals 84 checklists with Greater 
Sage-Grouse from Montana in 2013 alone. 52 of these being Stationary counts 
(mostly at leks) with location and date, along with seven incidental 
observations likewise pinned to a location with a date. Ten more from traveling 
counts of 5 miles or less, 14 from longer traveling counts where the location 
is obviously more nebulous, and one for "Montana, General". Those last being 
examples of counts that would not be used for eBird distribution models. 

> 
> Dan Casey
> Somers
> 
Subject: Re: Re: new member
From: "Jim Williams woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:40:30 -0500
Thank you.

Jim Williams
birding blog at www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/blogs/Wingnut.html



> On Aug 26, 2014, at 4:16 PM, "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" 
 wrote: 

> 
> All,
> 
> And if you filter eBird for AUG - NOV in 2013-2014, the period of time that I 
think Mr. Williams would be interested in, exactly 8 submission will map pin. 
Two of these are outside the five mile limit. 

> 
> Mike Lesnik
> Livingston
> 
> 
Subject: Re: Re: new member
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Aug 2014 14:16:00 -0700
All,

And if you filter eBird for AUG - NOV in 2013-2014, the period of time that I 
think Mr. Williams would be interested in, exactly 8 submission will map pin. 
Two of these are outside the five mile limit. 


Mike Lesnik
Livingston
Subject: Re: Re: new member
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Aug 2014 11:51:01 -0700
Mike, et al:   

 Using the "Explore Data" function in eBird reveals 84 checklists with Greater 
Sage-Grouse from Montana in 2013 alone. 52 of these being Stationary counts 
(mostly at leks) with location and date, along with seven incidental 
observations likewise pinned to a location with a date. Ten more from traveling 
counts of 5 miles or less, 14 from longer traveling counts where the location 
is obviously more nebulous, and one for "Montana, General". Those last being 
examples of counts that would not be used for eBird distribution models. 

 

 Dan Casey
 Somers
Subject: Re: Re: new member
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Aug 2014 08:57:58 -0700
Jim & MOBJust did a little digging in the Montana Bird Distribution (Skaar's) 
database - easy download into Excel. Most of the 14000 plus records are from 
Lek counts or do not have good day-month-year information. 


Of the 168 records since 20 August 2000 (a grand total of four in 2013!), 
Beaverhead County appears to have the most, but many of these are from a 
scientific study in 2009 and 2010. Looks like Phillips with 31 in August thru 
December would be a good target area also. 


Mike Lesnik
Livingston
Subject: RE: Good visit to Benton Lake NWR
From: "'Doug Hansen' mthusker AT charter.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:44:46 -0600
Sharon & I were there yesterday, as well. 2 Ruddy Turnstones, some pectoral 
sandpipers, had a Loggerhead Shrike on Wilson road. 


 

Doug Hansen, Helena

 

From: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com [mailto:MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:14 AM
To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com
Subject: [MOB-Montana] Good visit to Benton Lake NWR

 

  

Yesterday I made a first visit to the Benton Lake wildlife refuge and had a 
good day among numerous waterfowl and shore birds and got a quick look at two 
juvenile night herons. At the entrance to the refuge a small bird was perching 
on the gate and permitted a couple photos before flying off. It had some of the 
markings of a shrike. But as this was an unusual sighting for me I'd welcome 
help in getting the correct I/D. Posted a photo to the identification help 
folder.Dan Ellison, Helena 



Subject: The Murmurations Begin
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:02:58 -0600
Last night I watched several hundreds of starlings and other 'blackbirds'
fly into Sacajawea Island (West Bank Park).  A few small groups were doing
their flying flock thing.  There must have been thousands come in closer to
dusk because this morning there were several thousands (or maybe tens of
thousands) that roosted on the island overnight.  I altered my walk so I
could go past the island before sunrise - they were departing already - but
from the noise and seeing the 'peppered' look of the trees that the birds
were roosting from one end to the other (and probably one side to the
other).  How do you estimate that many birds?  By the time the sun was over
the water treatment facility most had departed (it was quiet and I could
hear the chipping sparrows and yellow warblers). They will continue to use
the island for a night roost through September.
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: Good visit to Benton Lake NWR
From: "daellison70 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Aug 2014 07:14:23 -0700
Yesterday I made a first visit to the Benton Lake wildlife refuge and had a 
good day among numerous waterfowl and shore birds and got a quick look at two 
juvenile night herons. At the entrance to the refuge a small bird was perching 
on the gate and permitted a couple photos before flying off. It had some of the 
markings of a shrike. But as this was an unusual sighting for me I'd welcome 
help in getting the correct I/D. Posted a photo to the identification help 
folder.Dan Ellison, Helena 

 
Subject: Re: Re: new member
From: "Jim Williams woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:51:31 -0500
Thanks for both bird and bean tips.

Jim Williams
birding blog at www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/blogs/Wingnut.html



> On Aug 26, 2014, at 8:41 AM, "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" 
 wrote: 

> 
> Jim,For Greater Sage-Grouse I would plan a few hours to drive the county 
roads north and south of either US 12 or Montana 200 in Rosebud, Musselshell, 
Petroleum or Garfield Counties. Checking eBird for August-November current year 
submissions came up with only two in Montana - one somewhere in a ten mile 
reach south of Malta, Philips County. 

> 
> A month ago one of the three Ingomar town-site coveys were in the shade of 
the rodeo ground bleachers across the street from the Jersey Lily - a good 
place for a hamburger and great pot of beans. 

> 
> Mike Lesnik 
> Livingston
> 
> 
Subject: Re: new member
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 26 Aug 2014 06:41:52 -0700
Jim,For Greater Sage-Grouse I would plan a few hours to drive the county roads 
north and south of either US 12 or Montana 200 in Rosebud, Musselshell, 
Petroleum or Garfield Counties. Checking eBird for August-November current year 
submissions came up with only two in Montana - one somewhere in a ten mile 
reach south of Malta, Philips County. 


A month ago one of the three Ingomar town-site coveys were in the shade of the 
rodeo ground bleachers across the street from the Jersey Lily - a good place 
for a hamburger and great pot of beans. 


Mike Lesnik 
Livingston
Subject: From the West Bank
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:58:48 -0600
Sunday I watched about 10 birds fly-catching over the river - they were
black terns.  There were adults and immatures of various stages of
"blackness".  I saw them near Central Ave bridge early afternoon and up
just below the railroad bridge a couple hours later.  Today I saw (and
heard) 2 flying around off West Bank Park.
Yesterday there were barely enough Franklin's Gulls to count - this evening
they peppered the river from Central Ave bridge to the 9th St. bridge - too
many to count - several thousand for sure and more fly-catching in the air.
 All the birds were busy picking bugs off the calm water.  And the small
birds were busy fly-catching as well - yellow warblers, chipping sparrows,
cedar waxwings, eastern kingbirds.  Such a difference from the last couple
days trying to find birds in the rain.
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: new member
From: "Jim woodduck38 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 23:32:33 -0500
Requested to post personal information on your web site I will admit that my 
birding skills, such as they are, far exceed my electronic media skills. So, I 
will post here: I am a Minnesota resident who will spend two weeks in Montana, 
roughly mid-September. I will drive from here to Missoula, retrieve my wife 
from a ranch visit, then spend a few days in the mountains south of Red Lodge 
before driving home. I will bird as much as I can along the way throughout the 
trip. I have yet to choose a route into and out of your state. Target birds 
would be Dusky and Sage grouse. The former is said to be frequent in the yard 
of the mountain cabin we will visit. We will see. I have put away sight lists. 
Now, a photo list is the pursuit. The blog noted below is written for our daily 
newspaper, the Minneapolis StarTribune. 


Jim Williams
Wayzata, Minnesota
birding blog at 
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/blogs/Wingnut.html 














------------------------------------
Posted by: Jim 
------------------------------------


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Subject: Re: Herring Gulls in Somers
From: "'Chuck Carlson' chuckcmt AT nemont.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:06:45 -0600
Dan & all

The gulls must be moving on a wide front because there was a single Herring 
Gull on the rock pile just below the Ft. Peck powerplant this afternoon. There 
were also the expected Californias, 108 American White Pelicans and a few 
Common Mergansers. 


Also had a Black-and-white Warbler in the yard this morning and two 
Ruby-throated Hummers. 


Chuck Carlson
www.flickr.com/photos/prairie_shots/

From: mailto:MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2014 6:21 PM
To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
Subject: [MOB-Montana] Herring Gulls in Somers

MOB-sters: 

There were 10 Herring Gulls among the 111 gulls I counted in Somers Bay this 
evening (93 Ring-billed, 8 California). This is the earliest in fall that I 
have this many Herring Gulls here; indeed, I think this represents the first 
August record for the species in the state. 





Dan Casey

Somers
Subject: Herring Gulls in Somers
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 25 Aug 2014 17:21:05 -0700
MOB-sters:
 
 There were 10 Herring Gulls among the 111 gulls I counted in Somers Bay this 
evening (93 Ring-billed, 8 California). This is the earliest in fall that I 
have this many Herring Gulls here; indeed, I think this represents the first 
August record for the species in the state. 

 

 Dan Casey
 Somers
Subject: Re: Dark Small Gulls
From: "grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 24 Aug 2014 19:03:52 -0700
I went back out after posting and found them up river just a bit - and there 
could have been 10. The pictures I got at that time look even more like black 
terns. Neat - only the second time I've seen black terns along the Missouri 
here in Great Falls. And that was earlier in the year and only one and it was 
an adult. Arla Eckert got out to see them as well. Beth Hill 
Subject: No Kite seen at Chico [2 Attachments]
From: "'Robin' pajaros AT wewolcotts.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 18:50:28 -0600
Hi Mobsters,

 

After learning yesterday evening of a possible White-tailed Kite near Chico
Hot Springs, John Parker, Richard and I made a jaunt over the hill this
morning to the Paradise Valley to check things out.  On the road into Chico
Hot Springs we spotted something exceptionally white perched on a rock near
the road into the Buffalo Ranch subdivision.  "What is that?" said we three
in unison!  Our white bird turned out to be a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk who
posed for a few photos before proudly displaying white tail feathers and
white wing windows as it left its rocky perch.  At home our photos
reconfirmed our identification.  We did not locate any other white birds but
we did enjoy a wonderful outing on the other side of the hill.  Later in the
day, John forwarded my photos to the original observer who agreed that yes,
that appeared to be the bird he had seen.

 

Robin Wolcott

Bozeman

 
Subject: Re: Dark Small Gulls
From: "'Jeff' jeff17_marks AT msn.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 16:03:25 -0700
Beth,

I believe your first inclination was correct. Your photos appear to be of Black 
Terns: some juveniles, some adults. 


Jeff

*******************
Jeff Marks
4241 SE Liebe Street
Portland, OR 97206
503-774-4783
Birds of Montana Project
http://mtaudubon.org/
*******************

  ----- Original Message ----- 
 From: Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com 
[MOB-Montana] 

  To: MOB-Montana 
  Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2014 2:30 PM
  Subject: [MOB-Montana] Dark Small Gulls



 Tired of being coped up due to the rain I ventured out early this afternoon 
but got stopped when I saw 6 small, very dark gulls getting bug below Central 
Ave bridge in Great Falls. I got a few pictures. At first I thought I had young 
black terns. Some were dark underneath, others were clearly light. They were 
getting bugs off the water like I've seen Franklin's do so often. I'm not sure 
what I had yet - I haven't studied my books yet. I'd be wanting other opinions 
anyway.' 

  Beth Hill
  Great Falls

  
Subject: Dark Small Gulls
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 15:30:19 -0600
Tired of being coped up due to the rain I ventured out early this afternoon
but got stopped when I saw 6 small, very dark gulls getting bug below
Central Ave bridge in Great Falls.  I got a few pictures.  At first I
thought I had young black terns.  Some were dark underneath, others were
clearly light.  They were getting bugs off the water like I've seen
Franklin's do so often.  I'm not sure what I had yet - I haven't studied my
books yet.  I'd be wanting other opinions anyway.'
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: Re: Re: Benton Lake and One-way traffic
From: "Kristi DuBois kdubois AT montana.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2014 23:26:31 -0600




Subject: Likely (?) White-tailed Kite near Chico Hot Springs
From: "amy AT mtaudubon.org [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 23 Aug 2014 17:11:21 -0700
MOBsters - 
 
 I received a call earlier today from Don (not on MOB), and he is fairly 
certain he located a White-tailed Kite about a mile west of Chico Hot Springs 
(which is between Livingston and Gardner) - on the road toward the Sporting 
Clay. He watched it with both binos and a scope for ~15 minutes this morning 
(August 24), and did have a book to confirm key field marks. It was flying 
around and did not appear to be too anxious to leave (at least during this 
time) 

 

 Don can be reached at mtluckyskunk AT gmail.com if you need any more details. 
He'd love it if someone could confirm his sighting. 

 

 Thanks, Amy Cilimburg
 Missoula
Subject: Scenic route to Moorhead freshly bladed!
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Aug 2014 19:05:27 -0700
MOB,Believe it or not, but within the last month a grader has smoothed out the 
entire Highline Road from Sayle Road to Moorhead Road. If you approach from the 
west you happily get a great view of the near pristine Powder River Valley and 
not mudflats behind a dam. 


Juvenile Red-headed Woodpeckers were seen in four QLL's in two counties, but 
struck out on Black-backed. Counties were Rosebud & Powder River. Locations 
were east of Sayle Road about midway between Taylor Creek Road and Highline 
Road, Moorhead Campground, Holiday Campground area and Beaver Creek Road. 


At least one Cassin's Kingbird was picked out of the many, many Western 
Kingbirds along the Snyder Creek Road (IMPASSABLE WHEN WET). 


Mike Lesnik
Rosebud County
 
Subject: ID help
From: "deborahcabin AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 20 Aug 2014 16:55:30 -0700
I've uploaded a photo to the ID help folder, not sure how to annotate it.  
 The photo was taken Aug. 4 at the Gibson Reservoir campground, 

 I think it's a juvenile red tailed hawk, but I'd appreciate any opinions.  

 

 Thank you,
 

 Deb Cabin
 Great Falls

Subject: Re: Benton Lake and One-way traffic
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:18:11 -0600
When I was there Sunday one car did the whole loop the wrong way.  I drove
the Lower Marsh Drive first - then backed up to catch the beginning of pond
2.  I open the sliding door of my van (right side only) - sit on the car
floor with the tripod just outside (and sometime inside).  I have a lot
more mobility than if I was sitting in the driver's seat (steering wheel)
especially if I want to get some pictures. I still have the "blind effect"
of the car.
If I'm driving a group - I could spot better the other direction - but I'd
have the passengers in a better position to see out windows with the
current direction.
Beth Hill
Subject: Re: Benton Lake
From: "gr8gray AT frontiernet.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 19 Aug 2014 09:36:33 -0700
Hi Arla, 
 It's funny that you mentioned parking the wrong way so you could better view 
the birds. I mentioned last winter to Bob Johnson (asst Mgr - Benton Lake) 
about the idea of the road direction being reversed for better bird viewing and 
he scofted at me and said he's never heard anyone complain - i find that hard 
to believe... Maybe (if you haven't already) suggest to the powers to be that 
the road would serve the public wildlife viewer better if reversed. It might be 
held a little higher coming from local folks rather than from someone way over 
in Troy. Kootenai NWR in Bonner's Ferry, ID (35 miles from Troy) is the same 
way with a one-way road and 90% of the wetlands being on the passenger side - 
still working on getting that one changed... Remember these are our Public 
lands so management should listen. note: I have had positive changes with other 
refuges when it come to public viewing/photography, just keep your argument 
simple yet strong. 

 

 Good luck Birding,
 

 Don Jones
 Troy, MT
Subject: left out some shorebirds
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 18 Aug 2014 23:40:58 -0700
MOB, sorry I left out some species of Shorebirds. Sorry IU left out some 
species of shorebirds. 3 Semipalmated Sandpipers near the Dike, and 42 
Long-billed Dowitchers on Pond 6. Good birding Larry Carter 
Subject: Freezout A.M.
From: "birder43 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 18 Aug 2014 23:31:55 -0700
MOB, checked out Freezout this morning. Between the lush growth of the cattails 
and other water grasses in some spots covered up some good habitats. There are 
a few mudflats but not many. Shorebirds include -- 4 Baird's Sandpipers at the 
Neck and near the Dike, 6 Least Sandpipers at the Neck and the Dike, 2 Greater 
Yellowlegs, and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs at the Neck and near the Dike with 2 
Wilson's Snipe near the Dike. Mike Schwitters did find a Black-bellied Plover 
on Pond 6 as well. Met up with mike later on in the morning. Hopefully the next 
weather pattern with cooler temps will bring in a few more species of 
shorebirds to Freezout. Good birding Larry Carter Fairfield 
Subject: Warbler Migration
From: "marcurejm AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 18 Aug 2014 18:50:48 -0700
We had a Townsend's Warbler visiting our water this morning. Also have had a 
small flock of Red Crossbills at the seed feeder and in the tree tops getting 
cones. Probably the highlight of recent days is the family of Cooper's 
Hawks--adult and 2 juveniles who are learning to hunt. The process seems to 
involve lots of complaining by the juveniles :)! 

 
 Jeannie Marcure
 s/o Kalispell in Shelter Valley
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Subject: Benton Lake
From: "Arla Eckert turtle AT mt.net [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 16:21:14 -0600
Headed to Benton Lake (mud flats and a bit of water) this am. Got there just
a bit after 7. Lots of Brown ducks. Then little guys way off. I then parked
facing the wrong way in the wide area just after the first bridge. I use a
drivers side window mounted scope. As the birds forgot I was there things
got better and better. At first there was a lot going on right at the base
of the cattails, then a few birds were out on the mud flat not to far off.
Then some came to the rocks that go out into the pond. Then the Peregrine
Falcon came by. After the birds again settled down I gained more of the
little peeps by the rocks. About 20 feet from where I was sitting. I sat
until about 10:45 then drove the rest of the loop. Came back and a walker
was where I had been. After he walked off the bird numbers when back up
right by me. It was fun to hear the peeps all talking to each other. Here is
the list. Black-bellied Plover 2, Sandhill Crane 1, Killdeer lots,
Black-necked Stilts a few, American Avocet, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary
Sandpiper, Great and Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwits,
Semipalmated Sandpiper right by me, Western Sandpiper after I came back
about 3 of them, Least Sandpiper, Bairds Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper,
Long-billed Dowitcher 1 adult and 1 Juv. Wilsons Snipe, Wilsons Phalarope,
Kingfisher, Great Blue heron, baby jackrabbits 2, one Garter Snake,
Sparrows, Common Yellowthroat feeding young ones in the cattails. One group
of Canada Geese came in. I staged until about 11:45. What a morning of
birding.  Arla Eckert Great Falls
 
There is major road work going on between Great Falls and Benton Lake. They
were not working on my way up and the wait was very short on the way back. 




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


------------------------------------

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Subject: No more Thrasher
From: "'Robin' pajaros AT wewolcotts.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:58:33 -0600
Hi Mobsters

 

Sorry to report that the well photographed Curve-billed Thrasher has not
been seen near Ennis since Gerry Click reported it on eBird on 8/11.
Richard and I hung around the Inman residence for well over an hour the
following evening but the thrasher was a no show and hasn't returned since.
It reportedly visited the Inman's residence for 4 days then poof, it was
gone.  

 

Robin Wolcott

Bozeman
Subject: Re: Garganey retraction...a learning opportunity
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 18 Aug 2014 11:01:51 -0700
I was busy at work Friday, then banding, then camping for the weekend myself, 
and so only had access to Thomas' photos and additional resources late last 
night and this morning. Nevertheless, I am glad I called attention to the bird, 
and perhaps when the next Garganey does show up, a few of us will be better 
prepared... 

 Dan
Subject: Re: Garganey retraction...a learning opportunity
From: "'Jeff' jeff17_marks AT msn.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:44:25 -0700
Yes, certainly a good learning experience given that Garganey is a species none 
of us knows well, and that ducks at this time of year can be especially 
difficult to identify. I should point out that when the photos and other info 
first appeared on mob, I was busy with company and did not look at them. Only 
after Ted Nordhagen pointed out to me that the bird appeared to be a 
Green-winged Teal did I take a look at Thomas's photos and reference material 
and come to the same conclusion Ted had arrived at already. 


Jeff

*******************
Jeff Marks
4241 SE Liebe Street
Portland, OR 97206
503-774-4783
Birds of Montana Project
http://mtaudubon.org/
*******************

  ----- Original Message ----- 
 From: danielcasey55 AT gmail.com 
[MOB-Montana] 

  To: MOB-Montana AT yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 10:16 AM
  Subject: [MOB-Montana] Garganey retraction...a learning opportunity


    

  MOB-sters:


 After reviewing my own original videos again, and the photos taken by Thomas 
Kallmeyer, I no longer believe that the bird near Somers is a Garganey (GARG), 
but rather a somewhat unusual Green-winged Teal (GWTE). Because this was a 
rather high profile incident, I will be a bit verbose here, so please bear with 
me. Here are some of the original impressions I had, written just after the 
sighting and my own first viewing of my videos: 



 "Overall impression, without referring to photos/video: This was a small duck, 
feeding on the mudflats in the manner pretty typical of Green-winged Teal (like 
a shorebird). What first caught my eye was the overall contrasty look of the 
bird, the heavily spotted undertail coverts, strong eyeline on a pale face. The 
other feature that jumped out at me was that the (greenish) speculum had a 
stong white border both fore and aft. The folded wing coverts appeared grayish, 
and the bird did not appear as short-billed as a GWTE. I checked my book 
quickly, knowing that a strong eyeline might indicate Garganey, and confirming 
that GWTE does not have strong white borders to the speculum. I then worked at 
trying to get video and still shots of the bird. In flight, the white edges of 
the speculum were clearly visible, and while the forewing looked grayish, I 
cannot say that I saw that well enough to key in on it. 




 Thoughts upon review of my photos and video: the photographic evidence 
confirms the bold white edges of the speculum, as well as the grayish wing 
coverts. The face pattern is strong, but does not seem to indicate the short 
black line coming back from the gape that is illustrated in field guides. 
Nevertheless, side shots of the face do seem to show a light subtle light spot 
at the base of the bill, which is certainly longer than that of a GWTE. None of 
the shots show whether the white on the trailing edge of the wing is wider than 
the leading edge of the speculum. Photos show a bird whose size is comparable 
to a nearby Greater Yellowlegs (clearly a teal-sized duck, nothing larger). On 
my video commentary, I noted that the edge of the tail base appeared to have a 
short white line, and that the speculum appeared two-tone, green and brownish." 



 I was hoping that subsequent visitors would confirm whether or not the leading 
white stripe was broader (GWTE) or narrower than (GARG) the stripe on trailing 
edge of the wing. I was uncertain how important the lack of a dark mark back 
from the gape was, nor whether the speculum of a Garganey could who two 
distinct tones. 



 Thankfully, Thomas got some shots that clarified a few things. Based on his 
photos (and many shots on line), Jeff Marks rightfully asserted that the bird 
appeared to be a Green-winged Teal. A computer search shows numerous online 
shots of GWTE in flight that show quite white borders to their specula. 
Notably, particularly on males, the anterior stripe is often widest distally 
(further out on the wing). The open wing shot that Thomas got matches this 
rather well, and also does not seem to show the uniform gray patch on the wing 
coverts that Garganey should. In addition, The bi-colored green/violet speculum 
is (as Jeff put it in an email to me) "spot on for Green-winged Teal". And, 
true to form, while some of my photos show a long-billed individual, other 
shots look well within the range of variation for Green-winged Teal. Lastly, in 
looking through the "Bird of Europe" by Lars Jonsson, he states "Female and 
juv. are recognized by their contrasting head markings and dark cheek bar 
(somewhat equivocal on this bird) and a pale spot at bill base (not really 
evident on this bird), and also by the Teal's pale mark at the side of tail 
base." That pale mark shows up clearly in my video. 



 Barring any much better closeup photos that contradict these apparent field 
marks, I am now convinced that the bird was indeed a Green-winged Teal, albeit 
a rather long-billed one with more white along the speculum than I have ever 
seen on a bird in life. 



 I appreciate those of you who took my original (and tentative) identification 
on faith, and I am glad to have coerced some (unintentionally) to come bird in 
the Somers area. But as it turns out, birds that catch the eye because 
something "just doesn't look right" are more often a slightly aberrant common 
species than an exceptionally rare one. I will continue to look over eclipse 
ducks, but will secretly look forward to later this fall, when everyone will be 
in "breeding" plumage. 



 I hope everyone will take this as a learning experience, to observe closely 
and critically, take notes and photos, and utilize multiple resources when 
sorting out a rare find. And don't be afraid to get it wrong! 



  Humbly,

  Dan Casey

  Somers


  
Subject: Re: Garganey retraction...a learning opportunity
From: "Lonna Gray lonnag AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:24:06 -0600
Thanks for the informative information!!

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 18, 2014, at 11:16 AM, "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" 
 wrote: 

> 
> MOB-sters:
> 
> 
> After reviewing my own original videos again, and the photos taken by Thomas 
Kallmeyer, I no longer believe that the bird near Somers is a Garganey (GARG), 
but rather a somewhat unusual Green-winged Teal (GWTE). Because this was a 
rather high profile incident, I will be a bit verbose here, so please bear with 
me. Here are some of the original impressions I had, written just after the 
sighting and my own first viewing of my videos: 

> 
> 
> "Overall impression, without referring to photos/video: This was a small 
duck, feeding on the mudflats in the manner pretty typical of Green-winged Teal 
(like a shorebird). What first caught my eye was the overall contrasty look of 
the bird, the heavily spotted undertail coverts, strong eyeline on a pale face. 
The other feature that jumped out at me was that the (greenish) speculum had a 
stong white border both fore and aft. The folded wing coverts appeared grayish, 
and the bird did not appear as short-billed as a GWTE. I checked my book 
quickly, knowing that a strong eyeline might indicate Garganey, and confirming 
that GWTE does not have strong white borders to the speculum. I then worked at 
trying to get video and still shots of the bird. In flight, the white edges of 
the speculum were clearly visible, and while the forewing looked grayish, I 
cannot say that I saw that well enough to key in on it. 

> 
> 
> Thoughts upon review of my photos and video: the photographic evidence 
confirms the bold white edges of the speculum, as well as the grayish wing 
coverts. The face pattern is strong, but does not seem to indicate the short 
black line coming back from the gape that is illustrated in field guides. 
Nevertheless, side shots of the face do seem to show a light subtle light spot 
at the base of the bill, which is certainly longer than that of a GWTE. None of 
the shots show whether the white on the trailing edge of the wing is wider than 
the leading edge of the speculum. Photos show a bird whose size is comparable 
to a nearby Greater Yellowlegs (clearly a teal-sized duck, nothing larger). On 
my video commentary, I noted that the edge of the tail base appeared to have a 
short white line, and that the speculum appeared two-tone, green and brownish." 

> 
> I was hoping that subsequent visitors would confirm whether or not the 
leading white stripe was broader (GWTE) or narrower than (GARG) the stripe on 
trailing edge of the wing. I was uncertain how important the lack of a dark 
mark back from the gape was, nor whether the speculum of a Garganey could who 
two distinct tones. 

> 
> Thankfully, Thomas got some shots that clarified a few things. Based on his 
photos (and many shots on line), Jeff Marks rightfully asserted that the bird 
appeared to be a Green-winged Teal. A computer search shows numerous online 
shots of GWTE in flight that show quite white borders to their specula. 
Notably, particularly on males, the anterior stripe is often widest distally 
(further out on the wing). The open wing shot that Thomas got matches this 
rather well, and also does not seem to show the uniform gray patch on the wing 
coverts that Garganey should. In addition, The bi-colored green/violet speculum 
is (as Jeff put it in an email to me) "spot on for Green-winged Teal". And, 
true to form, while some of my photos show a long-billed individual, other 
shots look well within the range of variation for Green-winged Teal. Lastly, in 
looking through the "Bird of Europe" by Lars Jonsson, he states "Female and 
juv. are recognized by their contrasting head markings and dark cheek bar 
(somewhat equivocal on this bird) and a pale spot at bill base (not really 
evident on this bird), and also by the Teal's pale mark at the side of tail 
base." That pale mark shows up clearly in my video. 

> 
> Barring any much better closeup photos that contradict these apparent field 
marks, I am now convinced that the bird was indeed a Green-winged Teal, albeit 
a rather long-billed one with more white along the speculum than I have ever 
seen on a bird in life. 

> 
> 
> I appreciate those of you who took my original (and tentative) identification 
on faith, and I am glad to have coerced some (unintentionally) to come bird in 
the Somers area. But as it turns out, birds that catch the eye because 
something "just doesn't look right" are more often a slightly aberrant common 
species than an exceptionally rare one. I will continue to look over eclipse 
ducks, but will secretly look forward to later this fall, when everyone will be 
in "breeding" plumage. 

> 
> 
> I hope everyone will take this as a learning experience, to observe closely 
and critically, take notes and photos, and utilize multiple resources when 
sorting out a rare find. And don't be afraid to get it wrong! 

> 
> 
> Humbly,
> 
> Dan Casey
> 
> Somers
> 
> 
Subject: Garganey retraction...a learning opportunity
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 18 Aug 2014 10:16:26 -0700
MOB-sters:
 
 After reviewing my own original videos again, and the photos taken by Thomas 
Kallmeyer, I no longer believe that the bird near Somers is a Garganey (GARG), 
but rather a somewhat unusual Green-winged Teal (GWTE). Because this was a 
rather high profile incident, I will be a bit verbose here, so please bear with 
me. Here are some of the original impressions I had, written just after the 
sighting and my own first viewing of my videos: 

 
 "Overall impression, without referring to photos/video: This was a small duck, 
feeding on the mudflats in the manner pretty typical of Green-winged Teal (like 
a shorebird). What first caught my eye was the overall contrasty look of the 
bird, the heavily spotted undertail coverts, strong eyeline on a pale face. The 
other feature that jumped out at me was that the (greenish) speculum had a 
stong white border both fore and aft. The folded wing coverts appeared grayish, 
and the bird did not appear as short-billed as a GWTE. I checked my book 
quickly, knowing that a strong eyeline might indicate Garganey, and confirming 
that GWTE does not have strong white borders to the speculum. I then worked at 
trying to get video and still shots of the bird. In flight, the white edges of 
the speculum were clearly visible, and while the forewing looked grayish, I 
cannot say that I saw that well enough to key in on it. 

 
 
 Thoughts upon review of my photos and video: the photographic evidence 
confirms the bold white edges of the speculum, as well as the grayish wing 
coverts. The face pattern is strong, but does not seem to indicate the short 
black line coming back from the gape that is illustrated in field guides. 
Nevertheless, side shots of the face do seem to show a light subtle light spot 
at the base of the bill, which is certainly longer than that of a GWTE. None of 
the shots show whether the white on the trailing edge of the wing is wider than 
the leading edge of the speculum. Photos show a bird whose size is comparable 
to a nearby Greater Yellowlegs (clearly a teal-sized duck, nothing larger). On 
my video commentary, I noted that the edge of the tail base appeared to have a 
short white line, and that the speculum appeared two-tone, green and brownish." 

 
 I was hoping that subsequent visitors would confirm whether or not the leading 
white stripe was broader (GWTE) or narrower than (GARG) the stripe on trailing 
edge of the wing. I was uncertain how important the lack of a dark mark back 
from the gape was, nor whether the speculum of a Garganey could who two 
distinct tones. 

 
 Thankfully, Thomas got some shots that clarified a few things. Based on his 
photos (and many shots on line), Jeff Marks rightfully asserted that the bird 
appeared to be a Green-winged Teal. A computer search shows numerous online 
shots of GWTE in flight that show quite white borders to their specula. 
Notably, particularly on males, the anterior stripe is often widest distally 
(further out on the wing). The open wing shot that Thomas got matches this 
rather well, and also does not seem to show the uniform gray patch on the wing 
coverts that Garganey should. In addition, The bi-colored green/violet speculum 
is (as Jeff put it in an email to me) "spot on for Green-winged Teal". And, 
true to form, while some of my photos show a long-billed individual, other 
shots look well within the range of variation for Green-winged Teal. Lastly, in 
looking through the "Bird of Europe" by Lars Jonsson, he states "Female and 
juv. are recognized by their contrasting head markings and dark cheek bar 
(somewhat equivocal on this bird) and a pale spot at bill base (not really 
evident on this bird), and also by the Teal's pale mark at the side of tail 
base." That pale mark shows up clearly in my video. 

 
 Barring any much better closeup photos that contradict these apparent field 
marks, I am now convinced that the bird was indeed a Green-winged Teal, albeit 
a rather long-billed one with more white along the speculum than I have ever 
seen on a bird in life. 

 
 I appreciate those of you who took my original (and tentative) identification 
on faith, and I am glad to have coerced some (unintentionally) to come bird in 
the Somers area. But as it turns out, birds that catch the eye because 
something "just doesn't look right" are more often a slightly aberrant common 
species than an exceptionally rare one. I will continue to look over eclipse 
ducks, but will secretly look forward to later this fall, when everyone will be 
in "breeding" plumage. 

 
 I hope everyone will take this as a learning experience, to observe closely 
and critically, take notes and photos, and utilize multiple resources when 
sorting out a rare find. And don't be afraid to get it wrong! 

 
 Humbly,
 Dan Casey
 Somers
Subject: Re: Possible Garganey, Somers
From: "James Oates oates65 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:05:45 -0600
When we were watching the bird, it was observed away from the other ducks
and was skimming the surface-a diagnostic clue per the Audubon Guide phone
app.

The light was poor, so our photos are no better than those posted.

Jim Oates
Raylene Wall
Polson
Subject: Sagebrush Sparrow late summer records?
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 18 Aug 2014 07:19:06 -0700
MOB,Does anyone have unreported observations that they would share?The Montana 
Bird Distribution database is basically devoid of recent late summer records 
for this species and there are zero Aug-Nov in eBird. Wyoming does have a few 
in eBird (photos available off list).Mike LesnikBig Horn County 
Subject: Fishtail Western Bluebird - Second Hatch Confirmed
From: "vagapaddler AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 18 Aug 2014 07:07:26 -0700
MOB,
 
 Received information and photos from the property owner that the adults are 
bringing in food and removing fecal sacks. Also current photos of the first 
hatch juveniles still in spotted breast plumage. 

 
 Mike Lesnik
 Tongue River Dam
Subject: Re: Possible Garganey, Somers
From: "danielcasey55 AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 17 Aug 2014 19:50:43 -0700
MOB-sters: 
 I appreciate the other folks that have come to look for and document this 
bird. I was cautious to indicate that it was a possible (putative) Garganey. 
Based on my own observations, photos and videos, I will submit it as such to 
the MBRC. I urge anyone else who saw the bird to also submit materials to Jeff 
Marks (the MBRC Secretary), so that the committee has the maximum amount of 
material to use in reviewing this sighting. Thank you Thomas, for posting your 
photos. I returned to the site this evening and did not see the subject bird, 
though many ducks were still present on the slough. 

 
 I will continue to try for better photographs if the bird is still present. I 
would really like to see the fully open wing, to assess the forewing and the 
relative width of white anterior and posterior to the speculum, as well as a 
sharp closeup of the face. 

 
 Dan Casey
 Somers
 
 
Subject: Benton Lake
From: "Beth Hill grizhill AT gmail.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2014 16:51:57 -0600
It was worth the trip for me this morning to visit Benton Lake.  Tons small
peeps - semiplamated sandpipers for the most part.  Lost count of the
marbled godwits and willets and yellowlegs (both present).  Too bad most of
the ducks looked alike - well almost - I could pick out shovelers, gadwall,
wigeon, and a few teal if I stared at them long enough.
The best - when I looked out at the far side of pond 2 and saw something
with a big black belly.  I did a double take to make sure then went around
the car to get out my scope.  As I was trying to locate it again - all the
shorebirds scattered - totally gone - what the heck!  It couldn't have been
me.  I tried to re-locate my target scanning along the far side when - whoa
- that explained it.  An adult peregrine falcon sitting on the mud looking
around.  I kept scanning and found the black-bellied plover.  The other
shorebirds started coming back, the peregrine stayed put for the whole time
I was watching and I ended up seeing 2 (probably 3) adult, breeding plumage
black-bellied plovers.  I have one long distance shot of the plover walking
past the peregrine!
Made my day
Beth Hill
Great Falls
Subject: (unknown)
From: "James Hayes ichibon2013 AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2014 09:58:26 -0700
Went out this morning to hopefully get a visual on the possible Garganey. My 
father and I arrived at the slough on Farm Rd. and began scanning at around 
0815. At around 0830 the bird photographed yesterday flew in from the south 
with a group of five Blue-winged Teal and began feeding. We watched it for 
several minutes and at around 0845 when we left it was still there on the 
western shore of the slough. 


-James Hayes
Subject: (Flathead) Possible Garganey--NO in A.M.
From: "bennywayne AT yahoo.com [MOB-Montana]" <MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 16 Aug 2014 08:33:43 -0700
Birders:
 
 This morning from 07:00 - 08:00, try as I might, I was unable to turn any of 
the ducks at the Farm Rd. wetland into the bird photographed by Dan Casey 
yesterday. 

 
 A nice consolation for me was my first WILLET in Flathead Co., hanging out 
among a nice assemblage of 11 shorebird spp. at the same pond. 

 
 --
 Ben Young
 Kalispell