Coteau des Prairies, South Dakota
Big Year Day 129
Coded Birds: 51
Miles driven. 25610
showshoes 4 (isn't going to be any more)
other animals seen: gray whale, baird's beaked whale, humpback, dolphin, bobcat, ring-tailed cat, elk, bighorn, jackalope, feral pig, California sea lion, harbor seal, bedbugs, iguana, woodchuck, red fox, muskrat
A quick update:
I returned home from my last three adventures. It had been a while. I was tired and hungry. I needed home cooking. My three suitcases had been used up of clothing, and I needed a bath. My right big toe was swollen. My camera chip was full. I had bills to pay for upcoming birding treks and well my dog needed a pat.
In a family moment, I watched one of our favorite movies with my wife Silja...
"The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain."
It is such the travel and romantic comedy. It made my wife very happy, even after we cried at the end in joy.
My daughter, Lena needed a hug and well, so did I.
Feeling confident and re-energized with only one night of sleep and an evening of family life, I went off to my cabin to restart birding. The year must go on. I cannot rest. My cabin view from the hill to the north. Seeing the trees gives it a false sense of where it is.
My back yard birds are not what normal back yard birds are. This is prairie country. I have a chestnut collared longspur colony nearby, and sedge wrens overpopulate my backyard at my cabin. I saw 8. I nabbed 4 species and then I was thinking I was one day late for the arrival of the Bobolinks...miscalculated due to the leap year day, I drove home and spotted probably the only one in NE South Dakota for bird #649 sitting on a fence post. The black terns are not in yet and I still need a white-rumped sandpiper, which is also not in yet so I will just have to wait on them. All the while, my wife kept me company as I communicated with birders in Maritime Canada to plot my next move. It was a rare calm day and to be honest I fell in love with the prairie all over again today.
The Gray Heron was calling me and well, it will take me an entire day to get there from here but I threw my laundry in the washer and began to pack for multiple trips. As I said before, I need to charge and not plug, so off I will go charging to the Northeast. I have no time for deep thinking or pithy stories, I got to get to an isolated spot 3 hours from St John's Newfoundland and if that works, Nova Scotia.....tickets booked....I need to get to bed...tomorrow is going to be a very long travel day...
646. Chestnut-collared longspur
647. Virginia Rail
I flushed one behind my cabin, it never called but was a half way decent look at the secretive bird.
648. Sedge wren
Yellow headed blackbird
clay colored sparrow