A few days ago, Alex and I had the pleasure of birding with Cheryl Huizinga, a local birder from Caldwell, ID. She has lived here for most of her life and is extremely knowledgable about birds and where to see them in the area, and has already given us some great tips to find new birds this year. One of our first stops was the backyard of a friend of Cheryl’s that was neatly planted with a variety of trees that have grown into a little haven for birds. Cheryl has had some great birds here in the past. While we didn’t see many birds, the morning walk was enjoyable as a brief rain stopped, revealing well-needed warm sunlight. This place is sure to be teaming with migrants in a few days, if they ever get here. Our new year bird here was a Townsend’s Solitaire that Cheryl spotted in the orchard. There was also a House Wren singing nearby.
Next we headed to a nearby marsh where I spotted the Virginia Rail chick earlier in the week, but only an adult showed itself. No sign of Sora there, even though this was where Cheryl saw one earlier in the month. We tried for Sora throughout the day, but had no luck….I think we’ve found our new nemesis bird. We went to a few more hotspots, finding a variety of waterfowl, and a few flooded fields that revealed a few Greater Yellowlegs. We picked up some great year birds like Great Egret and ‘Western’ Willet, and found a Caspian Tern at the Caldwell Ponds as a small storm started to move in. We also saw all the Idaho swallow species at the Red Top Road ponds.
Thanks, Cheryl, for showing us around Canyon County!