Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park

September 19, 2011

Amy Davenport; Compiled from cell phone calls from Richard Stevens:

Richard Stevens reports photographing the Prothonotary Warbler at Matthew-Reeser Bird Sanctuary, Estes Park this morning. The weather was fantastic in Estes Park today. Partly sunny skies, winds 8-10 mph.

He arrived at Estes Park at 10:30 am. Saw the bird as soon as he walked down to the footpath to Pine Point. The bird was in the trees across both fences to the north. Golf course trees. The warbler flew east and then south across the path. John Cobb relocated the warbler along Lake Estes. The bird stayed for 30 minutes along the lake where the paved path turns from east to south. It was still there when he and Rebecca departed.

Other birds reported in the area included a House Wren, 6 Orange-crowned Warblers and many Pine Siskins.

Richard Stevens and Rebecca Kosten continued east from Estes Park however want to report a few additional birds. After entering Rocky Mountain National Park winds climbed to 12+ mph. Temperatures were in the low 50s.

After finding the Prothonotary Warbler Richard and Rebecca went to medicine bow curve when Gary Weston called to say a birder from Missouri was looking for Ptarmigan.

They eventually found three White tailed Ptarmigan but no Missouri birders. Two birds were below the firs north of the extreme wet area north of the parking pullover. The third was where they saw two yesterday. The wet area below the west end of the pullover. Two British birders were shown the first two Ptarmigan.

Richard's suggestions for finding Ptarmigan at Medicine Bow Curve. Walk along the path going north from the pullover until it "ends" in about 0.5 miles. If no White-tailed Ptarmigan are found, drop down 20 yards and return to your car.

Richard has asked three different rangers in the past. It is legal to leave the main path. They prefer to not advertise that to tourists.

Today, Richard dropped down a little farther than past searches. About 30 yards, it was late in the day and several "tourists" were out looking for Elk, possibly scaring the Ptarmigan.

Another highlight at Medicine Bow Curve was a Sharp shinned Hawk flying 6 feet over the willows at 11481 feet.

No Rosy Finches were found.

On the trip back to Estes Park, they saw a Dusky Grouse above the pullover 1.7 miles west of Rainbow Curve. Several Clark's Nutcrackers were "begging for food" at the Rainbow Curve pullover.

Witness photos of the Prothonotary Warbler at:

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