Friday, July 15, 2016

Day 16 - the Badlands of South Dakota

The Badlands are the last of the National Parks we will be visiting.  I had been there many years ago and it didn't disappoint.  It doesn't take long to visit as you basically just drive through if you are not an intrepid hiker!  It takes no longer than half a day to see everything.  
 There were two types of views basically in the Badlands -- those looking up at the stone monoliths and then looking out over the rocks.  The layers are pretty distinct and each layer signifies a different time in the prehistory of the area.  

 We found a nice picnic area (all covered to block out the hot sun) and this gave me a chance to look for some birds and flowers.

This is a Lark Sparrow which is a new bird for me.

This is Bindweed which is a type of morning glory.  

This is a Western Kingbird which is another first for me.  Evidently the small red crest on his head is very unusual to see.  It was not mentioned in either of my bird books but  a birder on the FB Bird ID site mentioned it.  I later found mention of it on the Cornel Ornithology site as well.  Evidently they hide it until they are going after hawks or kestrels.  I didn't find one picture of it on the net. The crest was what had fooled me as I just couldn't find it on any of the birds I was looking at.

My favorite part of the park is of course the Prairie Dog town.

This Prairie Dog has a backdrop of all those Bindweeds!

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