Date: 3/16/17 3:49 pm
From: Malcolm Gold <malcolmgold...>
Subject: Central and Western Trip Report
Over the past three days March 14th through 16th Micky Louis, Kathy
Carroll, and myself took a trip to central and western Kansas in search of
Chickens, Longspurs, and Waterfowl (CLAW). This is the second year I tried
a CLAW trip and hope next year a similar opportunity exists. We left
Tuesday March 14th from Overland Park and arrived at Quivira before noon,
where two lingered Rough-Legged Hawks were mixed in with a good diversity
of waterfowl, and we saw our first Least Sandpipers and Snowy Plovers of
the year. We struggled to find waterfowl at the other sewage lagoons in
Ford County but did have a Say’s Phoebe at Spearville WTP. In Hodgeman
County we saw breeding plumage McCown’s and Lapland Longspurs as well as Lesser
Prairie Chickens on County Rd D north of Dodge City. With our two of three
targeted life-birds for our group seen on the first day we headed further
west with hopes of finding a few others.

On March 15th we had a very productive drive along Deerfield Lane, with a
handful of Ferruginous Hawks, a Prairie Falcon, a flyby Chestnut-Collared
Longspur that unfortunately only I saw well and then inadvertently flushed
when backing up, and two early LONG BILLED-CURLEWS. Along the river roads
south of Syracuse we found Scaled Quail, a Curve Billed Thrasher, a
cooperative singing Say’s Phoebe, and many Black-billed Magpies. Three
Common Ravens were visiting roadkill with a Bald Eagle along County Rd J
while a handful of Rough-Legged Hawks were still in the area. Waterfowl
numbers at Lake McKinney were amazing, with 11 male Cinnamon Teal.
Waterfowl numbers were nice on most of the sewage ponds and lakes west of
Garden City on the 15th, surprisingly more diverse and greater numbers than
the day before between Great Bend and Dodge. We were not successful in our
search for a Golden Eagle, but could not complain with the other wonderful
surprises and migrating Sandhill Cranes found at almost every stop.

We had a handful of owls calling below the dam and Cedar Bluffs and crashed
late Wednesday night in La Crosse. Two trumpeter Swans and a pair of Cinnamon
Teal highlighted the drive through Cheyenne Bottoms and we checked a few
other locations on our way back to the KC area today. We ended with almost
a thousand miles and over a hundred species for the trip. Time with
friends, a few photos for memories, and enjoyment with nature were the true
highlights however.

Good Birding,

Malcolm Gold (Overland Park, Kansas)

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