Henry Amknecht joined me on a tour of many of southwest Kansas’ most
difficult birding counties this weekend and it was an extremely memorable
In Haskell County on 5/11, our best bird was a female Golden-winged
Warbler. It was one of 9 county birds for me.
We saw some Mallard type ducks in Stevens Co that night. Henry, I had
forgotten about that!
In Seward County on 5/12 we started with some Lesser Prairie Chickens and
then had a really great morning at Arkalon Park, a fantastic birding
destination. I didn’t add any county birds, though, until the Liberal WTP
had a Northern Waterthrush and some White Pelicans overhead.
We proceeded to Hugoton (Stevens Co) and tried to find some of the neat
birds recently seen there. We missed the big wave but had at least 3
Northern Waterthrushes, one of 10 county birds for me. At a private
location in the county we documented a singing and then visible CANYON
WREN. It took about a minute for us to place the song (I first started with
thinking Louisiana Waterthrush, then complete confusion about a song I knew
I knew) but it finally clicked in our brains and we documented it fairly
well and had a few great looks. This bird is not chaseable.
In Ulysses (Grant Co) on 5/13 we had some birds, notably 6 Northern
We wandered through extreme e Hamilton Co as a waypoint and counted 565
Lark Buntings, many skylarking and large flocks, and 16 Cassin’s Sparrows
along a stretch of road. It was a really great stretch! Wow. I could just
do that all day.
In Kearny County we added some birds, most notably getting Scaled Quail, a
Kearny nemesis for myself.
A flat tire left us in Garden City (Finney Co) so we managed to get some
rides and do some unexpected birding for a couple hours. We had a Rock Wren
at the Zoo and some super birds at Marie’s house. All in all I added 5
county birds and somehow, totally unexpectedly, I reached an even 200 ticks