Date: 6/28/18 7:17 am
From: <vagapaddler...> [MOB-Montana] <MOB-Montana...>
Subject: [MOB-Montana] Missouri Breaks CMR 220 Rd

Woke up to spectacular setting near full moon at 0400 yesterday morning in a primitive camp spot 3/10th mile upstream of the historic Carroll Landing, which is right at the 2011 record Fort Peck Reservoir elevation level. Current level is less than five feet below that mark.

As always, my target for the trip was a Plumbeous Vireo nest. Nest not found,but bird was seen both days in different locations. Barely diagnostic photo on Tuesday, loud and clear audio ID walking another area on the way out yesterday, followed by 10 X visual a few minutes later as I eased back to the call location. Calls quit and no further activity observed while I sat for an hour having lunch.

Best bird of the trip was the Common Poorwill brooding at least one chick [photo posted] about fifty feet from last years nest with two eggs. Adult was first seen about six feet away and appeared dead from my viewing angle. I came very close to using my walking stick to roll it over to check for eggs.

During a several minute observation [10X binocs & zoomed in camera] for photos and taking a GPSr way-point I saw the adult twitch just once, with not a movement from the odd shapes that I suspected might be chicks. Did not pick out the chick's beak and eyes until I downloaded to a laptop.

I use the Armells Creek (ARMM8) NOAA weather station as a guide to make a trip into that part of the Missouri Breaks - with anything close to a tenth of an inch precipitation in the last day or so, stay home. The near permanent mud-hole that I dug out a drain for on 4 June was bone dry. Worked on another one this trip and plan to do a few minutes every time down until it get bladed again.

Watching a Gray Catbird picking up and dis-carding nesting material during the last hour as I compose this post.

Mike Lesnik

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