Thursday, March 8, 2012

Return to 80 Route & Trip to Buffalo Pass

March 7, 2012

Richard Stevens:

Because we missed Dusky Grouse up 80 Route yesterday, we returned this morning (again a couple of mile hike) and were rewarded with a male Dusky Grouse sighting near the 2nd cattle guard up the road.

Northern Saw-whet Owl recordings were played on our hike up the road; without receiving any responses.

Our "adventure" for today was to reach the top of Buffalo Pass (Routt County). Snowmobiles were used to get us up there. We stopped several times and snowshoed into the woods in search of American Three-toed Woodpeckers.

Our final Three-toed Woodpecker count was only three. We know dozens are up there. They probably are not very active in the cold of winter.

The view by the way is spectacular!

We stopped by the Colorado State Forest late in the afternoon. Fifty Rosy Finches (no Black) and the White-throated Sparrow were observed.

Afterwards, we snowshoed into the Crags Campgrounds. At least one Boreal Owl called around the Campgrounds. We continued up the fire road south of the Campgrounds (for about 2 miles). At least two additional Boreal Owls were heard. Our return trip was in the dark. I have made this hike many times; it is not recommended by anyone unfamiliar with the area.

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