Quite a day of birding
My friend Steve and I decided to go to Curlew National Grasslands, which is in Idaho just north of Snowville, Utah. The area contains good juniper habitat and is one of the only places in the state to find Scott’s Orioles. It’s also a fairly reliable place for Blue Grosbeak and Bewick’s Wren.
I got up at 3:30 and drove down to Steve’s. We left his place at around 4:30, which put is in Curlew Grasslands sometime around 7. Our first stop was Grandine, an area with a pond and trees where I’ve seen Blue Grosbeaks in previous years. There were a lot of birds at this stop, but we couldn’t find a Grosbeak. After an hour or so of searching we both smelled skunk. We were just getting ready to walk out of the area in case a skunk was nearby when Steve yelled and jumped. I didn’t even look at what he was yelling at I just jumped and ran the other way. All of the sudden it smelled really strong of skunk. Steve took a pretty good hit. I think I avoided it for the most part. It was quite a way to spend the day. Steve and his truck reeked.
Well, after that we made our way up Black Pine road into the juniper habitat. We met up with our friend Bob and managed to find a few target birds including – Ash-throated Flycatcher, Gray Flycatcher, and Bewick’s Wren (a new bird in Idaho for me). We really wanted a Scott’s Oriole and spent the greater part of the morning driving around searching suitable habitat, but coming up empty. We also found other neat birds like Pinyon Jay, Scrub Jay, Plumbeous Vireo, Burrowing Owl, and Ferruginous Hawks.
After a while driving around we decided to head back to the first juniper habitat we visited. I got out and opened the gate for Steve. I noticed a bit hole in a ditch near the road and I assumed Steve saw it as well. I was looking the other way when Steve drove through the gate and he drove right into the ditch. His front driver side tire dropped into the hole and didn’t even touch ground. It lifted his rear passenger side tire off the ground. After a few minutes of futile digging and trying to figure things out. Bob and I drove into Snowville and found a tow truck. The tow truck got him out pretty easily. We spent the rest of the afternoon trying to find a few more birds.
One of our last stops was a truck stop for dinner. The waitress could smell us as soon as we opened the door. She kept a good attitude and got a pretty good tip.
Here are a few photographs of the adventure.
Off of Black Pine Road, Curlew National Grasslands, ID 2010
Burnt Juniper (most of the area was burned a few years ago), Curlew National Grasslands, ID 2010
Ash-throatedFlycatcher, Curlew National Grasslands, ID 2010
Steve getting Unstuck