• 2018 John Martin Reservoir, Bent County, SE Colorado

    Hasty Campground is a favorite of ours for RV camping because the sites are well spaced and there is lovely shade. As for birds...well...Robins. And Robins. and Doves. and Doves, although I do believe we saw more doves in Kansas.

    Let's discuss. Is this is an Orange-crowned Warbler? There's a lot of olive green, but his bill is pretty long, more like a Yellow Warbler.  

    The streaks on the upper chest don't really help me.  Either Orange-crowned or Yellow could have those. Wilson's shouldn't have a bill this long.

    And I'm saying this is a MacGillivray's Warbler

    Nashville immature? 

    Over and in the water were American Pelicans

    Western Grebes

    And Clark's Grebes

    As we drove around the north camping area we found Rabbitbrush and a plethora of Monarchs.

    And some Painted Ladies

    Then...on JJ Road at the marsh....TADA! We had the happy encounter with Wilson's Snipes. We counted at least 16 as we walked the road...the initial five or so that allowed photographic documentation and then the rest as flush/flyovers as we passed their feeding areas.

    This is an adult male

    Here's the immature one with what I think is a Lesser Yellowlegs.

    Here's my masterpiece of the day.

    Here's one giving himself a shake.

    I believe this is an immature snipe feeding next to a

    Greater Yellowlegs (14 inches). 

    Isn't he/she cute?

    Now you can see how dark the markings are on the adult's head, and how the immature's markings are fainter.

    There were two Killdeer hanging around with their usual worried look.This is a decent size comparison. Snipes (Sibley's says 10.5" long, exactly the same as a Killdeer) are not small shorebirds. And they are chunky!

    Now here we have what I believe are two Pectoral Sandpipers (8.5 " long, yellow legs and a very strongly streaked breast).

    Quite a streaky breast! The stripes on the head actually confused me initially...they resemble immature snipe stripes. But, of course, the bill is a sandpiper bill. 

    Look how massive the snipe appears in comparison to the sandpiper.

    This was an interesting behavior I observed. The immature snipe on the left suddenly crouched down low in the water as the male on the right approached. I assume this was a submissive move. It was quite sudden and caused dramatic splashing as he dropped.

    He remained crouched for several minutes as the adult waded nearby, then seemed to feel it was OK to stand up again and start feeding even while the male stayed close. Here's the adult again.

    So, here are some stand-up shots of the Greater Yellowlegs (14 inches) that were feeding in the area.

     Say good-bye to our lovely adult snipe. 

    Just down the road a bit we had a Blue Grosbeak female, loving these seeds. Does anybody know the name of this plant?

    When she showed us her back and top of head, you can get a whiff of slate blue, even more so on the right wing.

    So, the snipes were definitely the highlight of the trip for me, just to watch them feeding so vigorously and being close enough to work on some special images. Hope you enjoyed them!












  • Comments on this post (1 comment)

    • Jeanne Falletta says...

      Carol your photos and the accompanying descriptions make such an enjoyable experience while following you and Scott, thank you for sharing!

      September 18, 2018

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