Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some Mountain Birding

December 13, 2009

Richard Stevens:

Joe Zark, Mike Borneman and I headed to the mountains at 5:00 am this morning. Temperatures were around 20 degrees; fortunately, winds were calm most of the morning.

After searching for Rosy Finches in Summit County, we made a brief stop at the Blue River Water Treatment Plant. Ducks there included 17 Barrow's Goldeneyes, 2 Common Goldeneyes, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal and Mallards.

Next, we drove up to Loveland Pass (Clear Creek). It was one of those lucky days for us. It took only 15 minutes to find a White-tailed Ptarmigan! The bird was below the eastern side of the parking area. It walked along the bottom end of the ragged rocks about 200-300 yards below us.

Several American Pipits were observed on the snow. Two Rosy Finches (species not determined) circled overhead a couple of times and disappeared to the west.

We returned to Denver and headed up Highway 285 to Pine Valley Ranch Park (Jefferson). A male American Three-toed Woodpecker was seen up the hill south of Pine Lake.

A Northern Pygmy-Owl recording was played at the Buck Gulch-Strawberry Jack intersection; without getting a response. We then walked to the west end of the Narrow Gauge Trail; again missing owls.

Finally, we decided to return to the Buck Gulch-Strawberry Jack intersection. This time a Northern Pygmy-Owl called for us. Unfortunately, it did not allow us a sighting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I noticed you were trying to access Vancil Res. in Morgan County last year. There are bald eagles and numerous and varied species of owl hanging around up there, and I have a key. Email me and I'll see if I can get you in. Jim