First, just let me say WOW. Wow, what a day, what a place, what an array of birds!! South Dakota is great so far!
I will divide this blog post into 3 parts: Travel, Wall Drug, and The Barbecue.
Travel was easy, relaxed, and there were no problems. We woke up a little after 5AM to finish packing, take showers, and eat a quick meal before heading out. We lugged our luggage (!) to the Metro station nearby, where we took the train to (conveniently) the next stop - Ronald Reagan Natl. Airport. We briskly moved through security and found our gate. On the plane, I drew, listened to music (the airline has special radio service- XM radio streaming to your seat!), and watched The Office on the video screens. We landed in Chicago to catch our connection flight to Rapid City. My ticket got upgraded to 1st class! It was soo nice, and they offer lots of food. I listened to that cool radio again, drew, and ate chocolate! :) Once we touched down in Rapid, we got our rental car and drove to our hotel. It's very close to Wall Drug, which was our first official stop on our Wild West trip!
Pt. 2: Wall Drug
We went into many different shops at Wall-- jewelry, clothing, souvenirs, toys, food, anything you could imagine it was there. I ended up getting a new hat and shirt. Outside, they have an array of things to get photos by, including this giant Jackalope statue (it's the state mythical animal!):
Outside on the way back to our hotel, I sighted my first Life bird of the trip!
Pt. 3: The Barbecue
We went to a barbecue at a huge farm, teeming with avian life! In just a few hours, I sighted 3 Life birds...
Lots of larks! The Meadowlark I ID'd by sound (something I'm proud of), and the other two, despite never seeing them before, I ID'd on site with no field guide. These birds are equally beautiful and rich in colour! I also saw an Eastern Kingbird:
Then there was this faraway unidentified bird...it seems a horned lark, but I'm not sure. If anyone would like to help identify it, please do!
South Dakota is AWESOME. Many more birds to come!
PHOTO OF THE DAY: