Big Rivers

For the third time in my life, I have driven over the mighty Mississippi River, but I topped that today by crossing not only the Big Muddy, but the Missouri as well--twice.

In our trip from Evansville, Indiana to Emporia, Kansas, we blazed past a number of interesting parts of the American landscape AND southern Illinois. We also had a chance to do something we don't often get to do: visit a birding site in advance. We got into Emporia a bit earlier than expected, which gave us time to swing out to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, our morning birding location for tomorrow. We arrived after the information desk had closed, but we had a few minutes to wander around in the 104-degree heat (which was blessedly somewhat broken up by a steady breeze) and look at some of the grassland specialties, most of which I haven't seen since Jim Fuller took me birding in Iowa City back in 1995. We then returned to Emporia, found some ribs to gnaw on, and settled into our meat coma for the evening.

Birds seen yesterday that I also saw today: Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow, American Robin, Mourning Dove, American Crow, Red-tailed Hawk, Chipping Sparrow, Common Grackle, Turkey Vulture, Barn Swallow, European Starling, Eastern Kingbird

New birds for today:

1 Canada Goose
2 Great Egret
3 Great Blue Heron
4 Killdeer
5 Eastern Meadowlark
6 Upland Sandpiper
7 Dickcissel
8 Eastern Bluebird
9 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
10 Baltimore Oriole
11 Eurasian Collared-Dove
12 Bobwhite (voice)

Doesn't seem like much of a list, but considering we birded for only about fifteen minutes, plus what we could see from the car, I can't complain.

Tomorrow: grassland species galore, or so I fervently hope.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on June 30, 2011 9:56 PM.

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