BOGS Finley Refuge Feb 25, 2016, Trip Report
I (Priscilla) did not go on the Finley Wildlife Refuge birding trip, but Don Delaufer did and he wrote a nice commentary about the trip, so I will use that for our trip report.
Also, Don had gone to Finley the day before the BOGS trip and took photos of some of the same birds seen on the trip under better conditions; ie; being alone and able to get closer to some birds. Don decided, and I agreed, to include those photos because there were not many good photos from the day of the BOGS trip.
In addition, Mel Elfring of BOGS has also contributed a nice set of photos from the Finley trip. I have annotated her photos to include species names and her name as well.
The remainder of the text in this report will be Don's commentary.
The trip to Finley was very well attended. Everyone met at the small store at the intersection of Hwy 99W and Bruce Rd.
A couple of cars reported sighting a Great Horned Owl on a power pole next to the highway on the southern edge of Junction City.
(more about that, later).
There was patchy fog in the area that was slowly clearing as we observed the large number of waterfowl at McFadden's Marsh. Several people said they'd never seen so many Duskys together at one time, possibly a couple of thousand in all.
There were nearly a dozen Tundra Swans easily visible from the blind as well as large numbers of Northern Pintails on both sides of the gravel path along with Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Buffleheads, Cinnamon and Green-winged Teals and various other ducks.
The usual Bald Eagles were in the area. A couple of very noisy Marsh Wrens stayed mostly hidden in the tall grass by the path and a flock of female Red-winged Blackbirds left the area as the large caravan arrived.
By the time we moved to the Pigeon Butte and Field 12 overlook the fog had pretty well lifted but the sky was pretty hazy. We had already spotted a swallow or two at the marsh but there lots of newly arrived Tree Swallows flying around the nest boxes at the overlook.
There were a number of Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, a couple of Harriers, a Kestrel and a Rough-legged Hawk visible from the overlook and further along Bruce Road.
We moved on to the Headquarters area, arriving around noon, where we observed Acorn Woodpeckers and various song birds in the oaks, at the feeders and in the fields around the area.
There were Killdeer, Hooded Mergansers and Ring-necked Ducks in the pond in front of the HQ and various geese and ducks in the one behind the HQ.
A Harrier and another Rough-legged Hawk were observed flying around the area.
Finally we proceeded to the Prairie Overlook area where I had been able to photograph a Prairie Falcon on Monday. Everyone was hoping it would make an appearance again.
We could hear a couple of Meadowlarks in the area but they were staying out of sight because there were a number of Red-tailed Hawks in the trees and Harriers cruising around. There were also numbers of Golden-crowned Sparrows, Robins and Starlings in the trees and blackberries along the road.
As the last cars were leaving for the day the Prairie Falcon was observed leaving its perch on a power-line and attacking a flock of Starlings.
As we made our way back to Hwy 99W we observed a half-dozen Turkey Vultures soaring over the farmland, so they have also begun returning to the area.
Bird list for bird trip to Finley Wildlife Refuge, February 25, 2016.
Weather was foggy to start, then warm and sunny.
This list is for birds seen or reported to me. I couldn’t keep up with sightings this morning, please check the list and let me know of birds you saw, but are not listed, and I’ll pass it on to Steve. --- bird list compiled by Doris Wimber
1. Double-crested cormorant
2. Great-blue heron
3. Tundra swan
4. Canada goose
5. Cackling goose
6. Wood duck
8. Northern pintail
9. Northern shoveler
10. Cinnamon teal
11. Lesser scaup
12. Ring-necked duck
14. Northern harrier
15. Bald eagle
16. Red-tailed hawk
17. Rough-legged hawk
18. American kestrel
19. American coot
20. Sandpiper (unidentified sp.)
22. Mourning dove
23. Great-horned owl *
24. Hummingbird (unidentified sp.)
25. Acorn woodpecker
26. Northern flicker
27. Scrub jay
28. American crow
29. Tree swallow
30. Marsh wren
31. Western blue bird
32. American robin
33. European starling
34. Spotted towhee
35. Song sparrow
36. Golden-crowned sparrow
37. Dark-eyed junco
38. Red-winged blackbird
39. House finch
40 Prairie falcon *
41. Hooded Merganser
* A message from Jody (2:26 pm today): “The Great-horned owl turned out to be a decoy. It sat so still for a great photo.
Also, We can add Prairie falcon to our list of sightings. As the cars left, it buzzed the field with all the starlings and blackbirds.
Steve said he saw it fly off a wire and head toward the field.”
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