Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Owling in Summit County

July 1, 2009

Richard Stevens:

Roger Danka and I birded up Keystone Gulch Road. While the area was quite birdy, we did not find any uncommon birds.

Next we hiked up the Saint Johns Trail to above tree line. This hike is interesting and not too difficult. One passes a couple of old cabins and emerges from the sparse trees onto rolling hills. Then we waited until dark to start back down to our car parked at Montezuma.

We enjoyed a wonderful night on the Saint Johns Trail. Winds were mild and temperatures in the low 50s. The almost full moon lit up the woods! We could see rather well through our binoculars.

The hike in the dark started above tree line. Just after entering the woods we heard a Boreal Owl off to the west. While playing a recording to try and draw in the Boreal Owl, a second Boreal Owl answered from about 30 yards further downhill!

We arrived back at Montezuma around 3:00am. It was such an exquisite night that we settled on a hike up the nearby Hunkidori Trail. This trail runs through Douglas Fir and Lodgepole Pine forest. According to my GPS, we hiked about 1.5 miles up this trail.

A Northern Pygmy-Owl answered our recordings when we were 0.55 miles from the trailhead. No further "action" was heard this night.

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