Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Greetings from Rawlins, WY

I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted. Memorial Day weekend made it difficult to go to libraries for internet as their hours were very short. After my time in Casper where I was able to find my first Greater Sage-Grouses and hear my first Sage Sparrow, I headed to the southeast section of the state to get a new phone. The only place in all of Wyoming that sells T-mobile phones is a Target in Cheyenne. After buying a new phone I headed to Laramie where I planned on spending a couple days to find Mountain Plover and a few other interesting species. I stayed in a hotel to get a shower and have a bed for a night.

The next morning I birded Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge where American Avocets, Marsh Wrens, and White-faced Ibis were everywhere among many more species. On the way in I found both McCown's and Chestnut-collared Longspurs. As I was driving around north of Laramie looking for Mountain Plover, I got a call from a couple other field techs so I drove east to hang out with them. Thomas, one of the other field techs had found a pair of Mountain Plovers so we headed there and after a short hike we got scope views of one of the Plovers. We then drove west to Whetland Reservoir which we expected to take about 45 minutes. After about two hours of wandering around and trying to find it we were on the dam. On the way we drove through the Laramie Range which is an amazing area.

McCown's Longspur-unfortunately they wouldn't let a close approach for a good pic.

White-tailed Prairie Dog

Once we were on the dam the sun had almost set so we decided to camp in the ditch so we were protected from the wind. The reservoir was good but hard to drive around. We had all the waterfowl you could expect there including awesome views of Cinnamon Teal, a common bird in Wyoming, but an amazing bird for anybody from the east. We then drove down to Laramie and ended up staying at the KOA. The next day we went our own ways to start getting transects done again.

A beautiful scene in the Laramie Range.

I headed through the Snowy Range where I was hoping for Brown-capped Rosy-Finch but unfortunately the deep snow made it tough to look for the finches. I will be going back in the next week or so when I have time to explore a little more. I headed north to Seminoe Reservoir to do a transect the next day. Unfortunately the rain and wind caught up with me right after I had set up my tent. I hadn't expected storms so didn't set up any extra support for my tent. Once the wind started up my tent was on its side. I packed it all up getting soaked in the process and drove south to a different campground. My tent and everything I had in it was pretty wet so I just slept in the back of my truck.

Wilson's Snipe

Over the past few days I have been doing transects around Rawlins, WY. I had lots of Sage Sparrows, Sage Thrashers, and Brewer's Sparrow on all of them. Today I had a couple pairs of Mountain Plovers on my transect and a pair of Golden Eagles.


1 comment:

2sweetnsaxy said...

Great shots as usual. That prairie dog is too cute. I've never seen one. And that shot of the range is breathtaking!