Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guanella Pass & Park County Reservoirs

October 21, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I returned to Guanella Pass (Clear Creek County) for one last look at White-tailed Ptarmigan before winter weather closes the pass. (Good thing we visited when we did, as several snowstorms hit the pass days later).

A hike up to the Rosalie & 603 trails found 4 White-tailed Ptarmigan about 20 yards farther uphill (south) and 25 yards to the west! It was a fantastic and unusual day. We encountered calm winds and temperatures in the 40s.

No American Three-toed Woodpeckers could be found around the Duck Lake gate closure (open today). None was found at the two Campgrounds along Guanella Pass road as we descended back to Highway 285.

From Guanella Pass, we enjoyed visiting the trio of Park County Reservoirs (Antero, Spinney Mountain Reservoir & Eleven Mile Reservoir).

Ducks had started to migrate through Park County. A Black Scoter and 2 Surf Scoters were at Antero Reservoir. A Common Loon was also there.

Three additional Surf Scoters were joined by a White-winged Scoter at Spinney Mountain Reservoir. (Always nice to get the trifecta of scoters in one day)! Three Common Loons were also here.

Daylight ended at Eleven Mile Reservoir. No scoters were there, however 2 Common Loons and a Pacific Loon swam out on the lake.

It should be pointed out that the trio of reservoirs is close together. Obtaining accurate counts of waterfowl can therefore be clouded if any flight is detected.

After dark, we set up "listening stations" north of the Buena Vista Overlook and along Chaffee County Road 301 & 300 , which go between the Overlook and Ruby Mountain to the south.

One Northern Saw-whet Owl was seen. Three additional owls were heard (in response to our recordings, both active & passive).

No comments: