Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Birding the Prairie

4:30AM, Carrington, North Dakota.
"All aboard!"

Birding the prairie involves a lot of this:and this:and yet again, this:Whew! Wren made it, safe and sound.

"Save the scope," was the most often heard comment. I guess clothes and skin are cheaper to repair or replace.

Even trip leaders are not spared the ordeal of climbing over, under, or through barbed wire fences. Here, Julie and Paulette "open the gate" for Bill.
Once across the fence line, you find yourself outstanding in your field,
birding away, joined by the occasional nosy neighbors.
Just remember, when the birding's done, you still have to cross that fence to get back home.Not all North Dakota birding involves hazardous fence crossings. Sometimes, you hike a half mile or so along a lake, buffeted by wind and rain.
Or, you simply stop your vehicle in the middle of the road, and enjoy the view.
Just watch out for "rush hour."
One of the funniest sights on the prairie are the street signs, a consequence of the 9-1-1 system. All the roads had to be named, so in a nod toward efficiency, we have a network of "streets" and "avenues."Shouldn't there be a delicatessen, a Chinese restaurant, or a bodega at 22nd St and 22nd Ave?

Some of the day's best birding was here, at the intersection of 44th St and 31st Ave.

And here it was at 42nd St and 32nd Ave. that I had two life-altering experiences. Not only did I see my first ever Clark's Grebe, but also it was here that I became "Prairie Woman."

Next up: Little homes on the prairie

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