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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Veagle's 2010 Year List (1 Viewer)

A couple of additional shots from the Kino Springs, Arizona area. Black Phoebe, and Tropical Kingbird.


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It was almost 2:30 when we entered Madera Canyon. The habitat changed abrubtly from sage brush to oak and pine. It was significantly cooler than during the approach. Our first target was Bridled Titmouse. We were looking for groups of them, in which we might find other birds as well. It didn't take long before we found this distinctive little bird, and while looking at them, I caught a flash of yellow go by, which turned out to be a Townsend's Warbler, soon to be followed by Yellow Rumped Warbler, and a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher. But the icing on the cake was a beautiful little Painted Redstart, which sat out on a branch less than 10 feet away and provided great looks for several minutes.

We then moved a little ways up the Canyon to the feeders set out by the Santa Rita Lodge. Quite a show. Several Acorn Woodpeckers, and numerous Mexican Jays, along with many Lesser Goldfinch kept themselves busy. Sitting for maybe 15 minutes the Hummingbird feeders were quite busy, and we saw Anna's, Magnificent, Black-chinned and Rufous Hummers.

Again we moved up the Canyon to the Kubo Lodge, where they have another set of feeders. Less busy than those at Santa Rita Lodge, we were able to add Blue-throated to our list, before departing for our last stop, Sweetwater Wetlands.

We spent the last hour before the sun went down, doing a quick circuit of this area adding a number of birds to our list for the day, including Killdeer, Orange-crowned Warbler, Common Moorhen, Black-necked Stilt, Gambell's Quail, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Abert's Towhee, Lesser and Spotted Sandpiper, and great looks at a Sora. The last birds of the day were three Harris's Hawks.

All in all I saw 94 species for the day, including 24 lifers. And it was clear that had I several days to spend, that number would have been much higher. Something to look forward to.

October 8 - Madera Canyon, Arizona

373. Bridled Titmouse
374. Townsend's Warbler
375. Painted Redstart
376. Black-throated Gray Warbler
377. Mexican Jay
378. Magnificent Hummingbird
379. Rufous Hummingbird
380. Black-chinned Hummingbird
381. Blue-throated Hummingbird

Sweetwater Wetlands

382. Gambell's Quail
383. Sora


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Back in South Dakota, I went out for a drive on a cool morning in Eastern Pennington County. Highlights included two Prairie Falcons, a nice flock of about 40 Sandhill Cranes, lots of Sharp-tailed Grouse, and what must have been about 750 Red-winged Blackbirds. But the highlight was a group of 10 Gray Partridge.

October 16 - Pennington County, SD

384. Gray Partridge
Spent the day yesterday looking at Condos in Santa Fe, NM, where our daughter lives. I had a free hour and went to the Davey Audubon Center. Before going I saw a relatively unusual White-throated Sparrow, then at the Center I saw Cooper's Hawk, Pine Siskin, Western Scrub-jay, and these two new year birds:

October 29 - Santa Fe, New Mexico

385. Mountain Chickadee
386. Pinyon Jay
Visiting my parents in New Jersey for Thanksgiving, so I took a quick trip to Barnegat Light to see if I could find some sea ducks. No scoters, but did manage to find my first Long-tailed Ducks, and it was nice to see some birds that I just don't get too often in the middle of the country - Carolina Wren, Brant, American Oystercatcher, Purple Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Northern Gannet, etc. Also nice to be out without the bitterly cold weather we've been having in South Dakota. It will be a challenge to come up with anything more back in South Dakota this time of the year. Best chance maybe a Prairie Chicken.

November 26 - Barnegat Light, New Jersey

387. Purple Sandpiper
388. Great Cormorant
389. Long-tailed Duck
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Went on an epic twitch today. Left Rapid City, with 2 local birder friends, at 3 am to drive across the state in search of a Ross's Gull that has been seen over the last 10 days at Lake Yankton, along the Nebraska border in the far southeastern corner of the state. Got there at 9:30 local time, with the temperature around 19F, and overcast, light snow, and after anxiously waiting for a half hour or so, the 20 birders there were treated to great scope views of the beautiful little gull, a continuation of a first SD Record. At times, we had Ross's, Herring, Ringed-bill, and Bonaparte Gulls in a single scope view. Other good birds seen were my first Cackling Goose, a single Thayer's Gull, and a large number of Snow Goose, Common Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, and Bald Eagles. A great day!

December 5 - Gavin's Point Dam, SD

390. Snow Goose
391. Ross's Gull
392. Cackling Goose

December 5 - Fort Randell Dam, SD

393. Thayer's Gull
Went out for a drive east of Rapid City on a cold morning, temperature around 10F. Some good raptors, including Prairie Falcon, Golden Eagle, Northern Harrier, and Rough-legged Hawk, and several large flocks consisting of Horned Larks, Lapland Longspurs, and Snow Buntings.

December 12 - Pennington County, SD

394. Snow Bunting
My wife and I are spending a good part of this week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, moving some stuff into a townhouse we purchased there, close to my daughter. Some great arroyo habitat all around, and I went for an early morning walk. Saw lots of Dark-eyed Juncos, including the "gray-headed" sub-species, lots of House Finches, and Robins, a number of Western Scrub-Jays, and Mountain Bluebirds, and a Northern Flicker. Was somewhat surprised and definately pleased to find my first Williamson's Sapsucker, a male with distinct red patch on its throat, and bright yellow belly. A good omen for this new place.

December 29 Santa Fe, New Mexico

395. Williamson's Sapsucker
A belated Happy New Years to anyone who has followed my list this year. The year exceeded all my expectations. I was fortunate enough to travel to some great destinations, and thought I would highlight my top 10 birding experiences of the year:

10. Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos, South Dakota. Neither of these birds is too common here in South Dakota, and I located both on seperate occasions, both were lifers for me.

9. Greater Sage-Grouse on Lek. There are only a few locations in extreme western South Dakota where the grouse can be found. I went with the local bird club, and we got there before dawn. Although we couldn't get too close, we got excellent scope views of multiple males doing their thing. A real show.

8. Marathon Day with Stephennj in Cape May, NJ. We spent an early spring day at multiple locations in Cape May as well as Brigantine Wildlife Refuge. Highlights included Prothonotary Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo, Piping Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, and Seaside Sparrow. A great day of birding with a Garden State friend.

7. My search for Gyrfalcon. In the beginning of the year, I really wanted to see Gyr, which is an annual visitor to SD, but which I had not seen yet. There had been one reported in the '09 CBC, and it took me 5 times looking, getting stuck in a snow bank, etc. before I got a great view at not one, but two Gyrfalcon.

6. Spring Meeting of SD Ornithological Union, Sioux Falls, SD. Three days of great birding, lots of new birds, a chance to bird with more experienced birders, and learn a lot. Highlights included: Scarlet Tanager, Blue-winged Warbler, Rose-throated Grosbeak, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Alder Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, and a relatively rare Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.

5. Spring trip to Florida- I spent a couple of days in mid-March at some great locations in central Florida. The weather was great and the birds were everywhere. My first time birding in Florida, I got too many lifers to mention, but highlights included: Crested Caracara, Limpkin, Northen Parula, Wood Stork, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, White-eyed Vireo, and Black-capped Parakeet.

4. Marathon Day in Southeastern Arizona - I spent the better part of a day at the Gilbert Water Preserve in Phoenix, then spent a day with Melody Kehl doing a dawn to dusk tour of some great hotspots, including Madera Canyon, Sweetwater Wetlands, Kino Springs, Patagonia. Amazing Place, I will have to return. Harris's Hawk, Lesser Nighthawk, Varied Bunting, Rufous-winged Sparrow, Painted Redstart, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northen Beardless-Tyrannulet, Magnificent Hummingbird, Mexican Jay, Bridled Titmouse, and Tropical Kingbird.

3. Chasing Ross's Gull. First state-record of this beauty found in Yankton, South Dakota at the end of November. I drove, along with two friends, leaving Rapid City at 3 am for the 6 hour drive across the state. It took us about an hour before the gull was found, and we all got great views.

2. Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush! Wow. This one I was lucky in that it was found, only the third US record, and the first one outside of Texas, within an hour of home. The first morning I went to see it, I found a guy sleeping in a car, having just driven 23 hours from Phoenix. I felt like I was cheating, only 45 minutes away. But I saw it twice, and it was a real happening. Thanks to Eric Ripma, and Jen Fowler.

1. Alaska! My wife and I spent two weeks there this summer. Barely scratched the surface, but just an amazing experience. The two most memorable days, for birding, were the Glacier tour out of Seward, and a day spent driving across the Denali Highway. Highlights included: Surfbird, Tufted and Horned Puffin, Kittlitz's Murrelet, Black Oystercatcher, Rhinocerous and Parakeet Auklets, Aleutian Tern, Parasitic Jaeger, Pacific Loon, Arctic Warbler, Bohemian Waxwing, Rock Ptarmigan, and Tundra Swan. Can't wait to go back.

Again, Happy New Years and Good birding.

Veagle (Dick Latuchie)

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