Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ptarmigan on Guanella Pass

November 20, 2008

Richard Stevens:

Four El Paso County birders and I drove up to Guanella Pass today. I looked it up, my 136th partial birding day on the Pass! This may have been the best weather ever for a search. Cool to cold temperatures and for most of the trip no wind! The usual late afternoon storm did roll in and bring just a little wind as we returned to our car.

We found at least 14 White-tailed Ptarmigan! Initially I found 8, but additional birds kept emerging from the willows.

I also saw a few American Pipits and 1 White-crowned Sparrow (getting late for it).

We first drove up to Loveland Pass (Clear Creek) and stuck out on Ptarmigan there. Thus begging for the longer hike at Guanella Pass. The search was relatively painless as it only took 30 minutes!

The weather at Loveland Pass was also superb! Calm winds and cool air! Both areas still have very little snow.

On the trip up we observed plenty of Common Ravens, American Crows, 1 White-breasted Nuthatch, and 1 Mountain Chickadee (we did not look too hard for them or would have found more).

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