September Field Trip Ideas

Say's Phoebe

Say’s Phoebe-Photo by Jim Parrish

Cooler weather, less smoke and migrating birds. Yeah! So get out and enjoy this
beautiful county. If hawks are your thing, head out south of town and cruise the roads through
the harvested fields, (Powerline, Baker Langdon, Braden and Stateline Rd makes a good
loop) In the next few weeks there is a great chance of seeing large groups of Swainson
Hawks. They are congregating on the ground or circling in the sky as they get ready for their
amazing migration to South America. Also check the vineyards in the evenings for huge flocks
of starlings. When spooked by a predator, they will swirl in the sky forming beautiful patterns
called murmurations, which makes for great cell phone video.
Lewis Peak is another fun trip. A few miles past Dixie on Hwy 12, take Lewis Peak road
which is to the right at the grain elevator. Stay right at the Y and head up as the habitat
changes from sunny open wheat fields to cool dense forest. At about 10 miles up, bear right
and in a mile or so you will come to a pullout to the left. Park here and walk to the end of the
road. Throughout this drive you are likely to find Says Phoebes, Kestrels, Swallows, Stellar
Jays, Red Breasted Nuthatch, Crossbills, Catbirds and Cedar Waxwings. If you’re lucky,
perhaps a Pygmy Owl. Enjoy the beautiful vistas of ridges along Lewis Peak both on the way
up and down. Check for elk and deer. It’s a short drive that’s well worth the effort. And when
you get home, report what you find to Ginger Shoemake at housewren084@gmail.com.

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