Porter Springs, Granite Springs Valley, Pershing Co (5/24/12): 9:00am-11:00
We birded Porter Springs this beautiful spring morning. In view of conditions yesterday we feared high winds but except for a few gusts it was calm today & the birding was easy. We were also pleasantly surprised by the absence of the long-term campers who normally infest the springs at this time of the year. The physical condition of the springs was as good as I've ever seen it. The W pond was full to the briml though the cattails had been eaten down by cattle & burros. Inside the fences--which had been recently repaired so the big herbivores couldn't get in--it was lush & green with long grass under the trees & stands of cattails & sedges wherever there was water.
The birding however was a little disappointing, there being hardly any passerine migrants. Here’s the complete list (22 sps).
Red-tailed Hawk--1 adult (flushed from vicinity of large stick nest)
Killdeer--pair (W pond). V. noisy & demonstrative & doubtless with nest or young nearby
Spotted Sandpiper--3 (W pond)
Wilson's Phalarope--flock 7 (W pond)
Eurasian Collared Dove--1
Empidonax sps (cf. Dusky)--1
The Eurasian Collared Dove was cooing off & on & as far as I could see was on its own without a mate. There was a lone ECD in April of 2008 & that & today's specimen are the only birds of this species that I've seen at the springs.
The only bird of interest along the dirt roads leading to the springs was a ring-tail Golden Eagle. We had a good look at a pronghorn in the desert near the W pond & as usual there were wild burros in profusion.