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Amazing! Montana does not disappoint! What a day…again! We started the day in Helena at the Mount Helena City Park. From the parking area we saw 2 Calliope Hummingbirds. Then we made the long drive to the expansive grasslands in the Harlowton area. We made a pit stop at Martinsdale Reservoir where we saw Long-billed Curlews, American Avocets, Marbled Godwits, Wilson’s Phalaropes, American White Pelicans, Cinnamon Teal, and Franklin’s Gulls.
But it was Oka Road south of Judith Gap that produced a Grand Slam of Goodies including Baird’s Sparrow, Sprague’s Pipit, McCown’s Longspur, and Chestnut-collared Longspur. The longspurs were everywhere and flying up out of the grassy fields and fluttering in display flights, showing off. It was exciting to watch!
Sadly, this little bird had something way wrong with its leg.
After a late lunch we headed south on Route 3. In a prairie dog town west of Broadview we found a Burrowing Owl. What a good way to top a great day! But we weren’t done with surprises. Along Route 3 we found an Upland Sandpiper with a young bird in the grass close by.
The trip list is up to 120 species and the year list got a boost to 418. Cruising right along. Tomorrow is another long driving day. We will be heading north for more grassland birding.