Field Trip to Cheyenne Bottoms (KDWP) and Quivira (NWR)
On our trip to Cheyenne and Quivira, we made a quick stop at Mushroom Rock State Park.
Cool rock formations! This a typical "upper layer" rock of the formations.
Here the upper (harder) rock is partially gone, with the lower softer rock eroded away into a "stalk".
Our mammal of the trip was our first wild badger at Quivia. It spent most of its time digging a hole.
Here, it's taking a short break.
Our reptile of the trip was this rattler at Cheyenne. We didn't let Karsten pick this one up!
Cheyenne and Quivira both were flooded, with damage to roads, etc. This made the trip challenging in some ways, but it also meant some birds were displaced from their normal locations which provided interesting opportunities.
An example of this (this picture and last) is a comorant rookery being built in the trees that line a flooded road which is normally moderately travelled by visitors. There are two nests of Neotropic Cormorants reported to be mixed in with these Double-crested Cormorant nests at Cheyenne.
Also found close to the road this trip were Black-crowned Night-Herons.
Here is a Black-crowned Night-Heron closeup.
A rare find for us was an American Bittern...sitting in the middle of the green grass, it still tried to freeze and look like a cattail stalk.
Very nice breeding plumage Cattle Egrets
Another exciting find was over 500 Eared Grebes, including over 165 nesting platforms in a field near the highway.
Beautiful birds - awesome red eyes and golden feather tufts!