|Breeding Plumage Franklin's Gull|
We ate dinner at a local restaurant and ran into the Victor Emmanual Nature Tours group. It was being co-led by Mike O'Brien from Cape May. This chance meeting would become important the next day.
Sunday morning we went to the college and Nick found me my Cardinal that I needed for my Colorado state list. Cardinals can only be found in this location, so this was a good sighting. We dipped on the Red-bellied Woodpecker and were too early for the Mississippi Kites. We did manage to find another unusual bird at this park. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, which is rare in Colorado, was also added to my state list. Walking around the park I saw a strange bird that reminded me of the flight pattern of a robin but didn't quite look correct. I followed the bird to where it landed and discovered our first Townsend Solitaire.
We then made a few other quick stops and picked up a flock of 76 Long-billed Curlews feeding in a field with Western Meadowlarks and a few Harriers. At the Campo Prairie Chicken lek (no longer accessible) I remember years ago that I had Cassin's Sparrows there. We arrived and right away we could hear one singing along with all the White-crowned Sparrows that were present.
|Lesser Prairie Chicken|
Well, the plan was to get up before dawn and head out to the lek before sunrise. But since we had about an hour before sunset we decided to try for the chicken now. So when we arrived we found 12 Lesser Prairie Chickens on the lek displaying. We got out of the car to walk to the blind and they all flushed but we stayed in the blind and within minutes they were back. The lighting at this hour was perfect with the sun behind our backs. Much better then the morning light would have been.