Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Search for White-tailed Ptarmigan

November 14, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Philip Kline and I went into the mountains in search of two targets, White-tailed Ptarmigan and Pine Grosbeak. Our trek was a victim of the winds. The wind was 28+ mph with gusts to 48+. Neither bird was found.

We drove up and down Loveland Pass (Clear Creek County) several times, stopped and scoped for Ptarmigan, without success. Then we hiked down the eastern side and searched around several rock formations that were "Ptarmigan shelters" last year and on my only previous trip so far this season.

We drove into Silverthorne and found one female Barrow's Goldeneye on the Blue River Water Treatment Plant (Summit).

Several flocks of Rosy Finches (60+ Brown-capped in one and 40+ Gray-crowned in another) were observed around town. No Pine Grosbeaks, we stopped at a friend's home and were told about 100+ mph winds just two days earlier (it was around 22 mph during our visit). Fallen trees were quite common. In one area, a strip of fallen trees was about 100 yards long and 10 yards wide.

Loveland Pass looked non-inviting with dark clouds and blowing snow; we did not go back up at 3:30 pm for another search.

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