I’m a terrible birder. I used to be pretty good, but I’ve kind of lost my motivation – there are too many other things to look at when I’m out in the field.
Last Friday, I was at the annual Prairie Chicken Festival, near Burwell, Nebraska, hosted by Calamus Outfitters. It was a great event, with lots of fun people and a fantastic setting. In the early afternoon, I hopped on a bus full of people to go look at birds around the edges of Calamus reservoir. I think the group saw several kinds of ducks and maybe some, uh, other things…
I, on the other hand, spent most of the time wandering through the sandhills looking down at the ground for signs of life in the prairie. (It’s hard to see many birds while looking down…) My biggest contribution to the birding portion of the trip was that I pointed out a couple owl pellets (on the ground, of course) to the group. Apart from that, I was pretty useless.
Well, useless from a birding standpoint. From a botanical standpoint, I actually found three different wildflower species blooming! That was a surprise, given how cold it’s been this spring, and how little green there is across the landscape. All three wildflowers were very short little annuals, and were near parking lots at the reservoir where they were exposed to full sun but sheltered from cool winds by nearby trees.
I have no idea what any of them are, so if any of you can identify them, I’d appreciate input…
…Ok, I wasn’t completely unaware of the birds around me… I actually did stop to take this photo of some pelicans late Friday morning, before heading over to the ranch to meet up with everyone else.