• 2018 Meade County, Kansas, September 6,7

    After Scott Lake we trekked 150 miles south to Meade Lake State Park where we stationed for two more only slightly less gray days. We birded the park and found a few birds.

    This immature Mississippi Kite had a full crop that looked downright uncomfortable.


    A Loggerhead Shrike continued our gray and white theme.

    Despite the smudged chest spot, I believe this is one of several Lark Sparrows we saw. Otherwise we had very few sparrows on this trip.

    We took a day trip out of the park but still in Meade County toward Clark State Lake and decided to check out this tourist trap...the Big Basin. It's a big sinkhole. We did not encounter much traffic up the little dirt road to this geological "wonder,"

    but saw one of our many Monarchs.  SO MANY MONARCHS.

    Take note...it likes Liatris.

    Back on the track toward Clark State Lake we got onto some great dirt roads which made for really fun birding. There was ZERO traffic and the roads were well-maintained. We enjoyed good looks at Scissor-tailed Flycatchers,

    I first thought this was a Hairy Woodpecker, but MB, an old birder buddy of mine has pointed out that this is likely a Ladder-backed Woodpecker. I do agree. This bird had a very patterned back and speckled breast that is more consistent with Ladderback than Hairy. I just really wasn't looking for Ladder-backed, but its range does seem to reach to southern Kansas. Neat. I love it when my birding friends yank me into reality.  Thanks, MB.



    We found the actual lake and campground to be unreachable for our Honda CRV due to a washed out road, but no matter. The birding en route was quite adequate. On the way back we found a magic tree at a farmhouse that yielded an adult male Baltimore Oriole,

    Yellow Warblers, right?


    and a wonderful American Redstart male



    By the time we left Meade for John Martin Reservoir in Colorado, the weather was starting to clear. Ahhh. 

    Meade State Park is the most adorable camping park. Like Scott (the Park, haha), it has both water and electricity for RVs. One year in the spring we enjoyed a migration evening fall-out of about a thousand very loud Yellow-headed Blackbirds just behind our RV. This year a little of this, a little of that.

    Please join me tomorrow for a snipe bonanza at John Martin Reservoir and JJ Road in SE Colorado. 





  • Comments on this post (2 comments)

    • Carol Blackard says...

      Whoopee! Thanks, Michael. Yes, I think my Hairy is, indeed, a Ladder-backed…it’s way too speckly to be a Hairy. I’ve changed my caption to reflect your wisdom.

      September 17, 2018

    • Michael Bowen says...

      The photos are beautiful.

      I wonder whether your Hairy Woodpecker might not actually be a Ladder-backed. Juvenile Hairys don’t have that breast pattern and there is a white line right down the back of a Hairy, even a juvenile.

      Looking at eBird, I see that Ladder-backed’s range does come (just) into SW Kansas.

      September 17, 2018

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