I drove north of Great Bend, Kansas today to check out the Cheyenne Bottoms area, which includes a state wildlife management area and some Nature Conservancy land. I can see why birdwatchers flock here; there's lots to see through binoculars and spotting scopes.
But my conclusion after two days of touring is the best photo ops are in Quivira NWR to the south. Most of the images I got were on the Wildlife Loop next to the Big Salt Marsh in the northern part of the refuge. And proving once again that I'm not a birder, I had to consult my bird books to see that this is a Wilson's Phalarope.
It was tremendously windy today. I would guess it was a steady 35 mph. There was a high overcast in the morning, but it blew away in the late afternoon, so at least the lighting was good for a few hours. The owls I saw yesterday were both huddled inside the barrel nest. The adult seemed to be seeking some protection from the wind.