by Darcy Thomas

On a blustery winter day in March with dark, turbulent clouds and crepuscular rays brightening the countryside, eight delighted birders joined Margaret and I on a tour of the Mission Valley in a quest to view birds of prey. We saw many wonderful birds including Merlin and American Kestrel, Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, Bald and Golden Eagles and much, much more. 34 taxa total.

Field Trip Participants on the lookout for raptors! – photo courtesy Darcy Thomas

The Roughies and Harriers were enjoying the breeze immensely and it was a marvel to watch them hover in place looking like statues in the air. We also saw a Great Horned Owl on a nest. About midday we enjoyed a tasty lunch at Ninepipes Lodge as we shared stories and talked about the day. Taryn, who is a NEPA coordinator for the CSKT, taught us about the Crow Dam spillway project. Michell practiced with her new photography lens. See her photos below. There were many requests to do this again soon!