David D Terry Lock & Dam 11/22/12

On the morning of Thanksgiving we went out to this lock and dam on the Arkansas River which is off of Frazier Pike and Harper Road.  Most of the time was spent on Harper Road which follows a lot of open agricultural land.  Here a lot of open field birds were seen.  These birds have adaptations that are suited for a lot of walking and are colored more drab than other birds since they don’t have as many places to hide.  You would think that these birds are easy to see but they prefer tracks of land that are vast and they aren’t very big.  Most of these birds travel in flocks.  Some of the most known of the open field birds include:  Killdeer, Meadowlarks, American Pipits, and Savannah Sparrows.  All of these were seen.  An additional open field bird that we don’t see too often is the Horned Lark.  Several Larks were seen and heard.  We walked out into the middle of a field to get closer to a flock of Larks but they were spooked and took flight.  Fortunately they landed 30 feet away and some good photographs were taken.  The Larks, Pipits, and Savannah Sparrows were all First of Season.  Several Kestrels hunted these open areas on the power lines.  A Shrike hunted on the lines as well.  On the way back a Northern Harrier was seen following an irrigation ditch only a few feet off the ground.

Horned Lark

At the actual park, several birds were seen.  On the river, ducks were constantly seen in flight but none were identified.  Pied-billed Grebes were more accommodating and several were seen on the water.  Cormorants and White Pelicans filled the air around the dam while Ring-billed Gulls fished at the dam.  Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons could be seen on the banks.  In a field just outside of the park a large blackbird conglomerate was seen.  At first glance it looked like just a bunch of grackles and red-wings but after looking over some photos, starlings and cowbirds were present as well.

Pelicans

The roads leading to the park contained some woodland habitat as well.  Where the woodlands met the open fields was where the most birds were seen.  The usual bunch was observed including Cardinals, goldfinches, woodpeckers, White-throated Sparrows, Carolina Wrens, Phoebes, and Chickadees but a few were seen that weren’t expected like Winter Wrens, Fox Sparrow, Northern Flicker, and Red-shouldered Hawk.  The Red-shouldered Hawk was on a power line beside the road and let us get right underneath it for some good photos.

Red-shouldered Hawk

A target bird for the day was a Wilson’s Snipe.  They can be found on these roads were there is standing water in the fields along with a few other species.  Unfortunately there was no standing water in the fields and therefore no Wilson’s Snipe.  We have not seen Wilson’s Snipe yet this winter.

Here’s what we saw:

  • Canada Goose
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • American White Pelican
  • Great Egret
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Killdeer
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Mourning Dove
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • American Kestrel
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Fish Crow
  • Horned Lark
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Winter Wren
  • Carolina Wren
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • American Pipit
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Fox Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Common Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • American Goldfinch
  • House Sparrow
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