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Hardy Canyon and west on Cleman - Gray Partridge

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  • Rich712@aol.com
    Chirp, On Aug 1, I took advantage of the break in the heat to check on nest boxes along the lower slopes of Cleman Mountain, from Hardy Canyon west. I loosely
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2009
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      On Aug 1, I took advantage of the break in the heat to check on nest
      boxes along the lower slopes of Cleman Mountain, from Hardy Canyon
      west. I loosely use the term "break" cuz the heat wave seems to be
      breaking records. I hit the area around noon...not optimal for
      compiling a list accurately representing birds in the area.

      Two canyons west of Hardy, a herd of chickens rustling through the
      dry weeds above the road brought me to a sudden stop. The birds
      flushed before I could exit the vehicle, flying across the road and into
      a ravine.

      As the weeds had obscured everything except the hump of
      their backs and a couple red faces, I wasn't sure of what to make
      of the flock's identity. After all, I'm sure my flushed face was a bit
      red also. And several birds elsewhere in the area were observed on
      exposed perches with bills well agape...and though my hearing is
      not keen enough to verify song, I am positive that these birds (a
      Western Kingbird and a Western Bluebird) were panting like an over-
      heated puppy left in a car at a WalMart parking lot on a sunny day.

      Out of the vehicle, I had a bit of trouble locating the flock...a mix
      of young and adults - presumed by size difference. Hearing a few
      clucks above me in the ravine, I moved closer and unleashed a
      flurry of Gray Partridge song from my iPod. To my surprise, birds
      answered. Six made a break out of the ravine's dense vegetation
      to hotfoot it back up into dry weeds.

      Flying birds had all ready flashed the rufous outer tail feathers and
      better looks now convinced me that the red faces were real and
      lacked any black or white that Chukar would possess. Plus it was
      a grand feeling to be so close to the hidden ones remaining in the
      ravine to be able to hear how closely the calls mimicked the iPod.

      Partridge are always a tough county year bird for me, especially in
      years when I do not venture into the depths of the YTC or get lucky
      in the rolling Horse Heaven Hills.

      Also a bit startled to find a couple of Lewis's Woodpeckers in a mix
      of shrub-steppe and Ponderosa Pines a bit west of Big Burn Canyon.
      Had not ticked any in six or seven prior trips visiting nest boxes in
      the area.

      My eBird footprint (however modest it is) will endure long after my
      own prints succumb to the blowing dust.

      Location: Jones Road - Lower Mt Cleman
      Observation date: 8/1/09
      Notes: sunny, calm, hot 92 to 98 degrees
      birded nest boxes stopping just before Fisher Flats
      Number of species: 19

      Gray Partridge 12
      California Quail 15
      Mourning Dove 2
      Black-chinned Hummingbird 1
      Lewis's Woodpecker 2
      Downy Woodpecker 1
      Northern Flicker 1
      Western Wood-Pewee 4
      Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1
      Western Kingbird 2
      Western Bluebird 5
      American Robin 3
      Spotted Towhee 7
      Chipping Sparrow 2
      Brewer's Sparrow 1
      Vesper Sparrow 14
      Song Sparrow 3
      Western Meadowlark 6
      American Goldfinch 3

      This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

      Birding the Blue,
      R. A. Repp
      Rich the Bluebird Snitch
      Wenas Wanderer

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