Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bismarck, North Dakota

Whew! I got a late start today, but I'm in Bismarck, North Dakota, now, about halfway to Bozeman, Montana, where I'll be spending tomorrow night. It was a lovely drive. The tamaracks in Minnesota were spectacular--brilliant gold, and set off to perfection by the black spruces. I was driving Highway 210, and the few rest stops or places one could safely pull over to the side weren't in view of the most beautiful trees, so I didn't stop along the way for photographs.

On the bummer side, I saw a dead Sharp-tailed Grouse and a dead badger--also, of course, several dead skunks and raccoons and a pheasant as I got further west. But there were plenty of Blue Jays, a few Red-tailed Hawks, and a Bald Eagle. And lots of Red-breasted Nuthatches--more of those than chickadees flew across the road.

Tomorrow I'll be seeing more western birds. I hope hope HOPE I get photos of magpies! And I can't wait to see my good friend Jeff Pentel. I quoted him in my book, but I don't have a copy handy and I'm too tired to go out to my car. I'll sleep well tonight!

1 comment :

  1. Dakota Lifestyle: Beyond the WeatherOctober 30, 2007 at 1:04 PM

    It's very easy to go birding in North Dakota. I was driving today just north of Mandan and spotted two very gorgeous pheasants, just wandering along the side of the road; that's fairly common out here, and we often see wild turkeys.

    Here at home we enjoy Downy Woodpeckers all winter, and we love the Purple Martins that hang around.

    Also, I think you just missed seeing Whooping Cranes. Some were sighted on Tuesday, October 23 near McKenzie.

    Glad you enjoyed your trip through our state!

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