Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hike In Pine Valley Ranch Park/Pike National Forest

February 11, 2013

Richard Stevens:

James Oliver, Matt Spencer and I had planned to drive up to Guanella Pass (Clear Creek County) and snowshoe 2 miles to search for White-tailed Ptarmigan.  We chose to skip Loveland Pass because of the recent low success rate there this season. 

Our choice was mute.  Looking on the internet, winds were predicted at 40+ mph on Guanella Pass today.  Having gone up there under those conditions several ill-fated times in the past (could not even hold binoculars steady) we decided to defer to later in the week.

Instead, we hiked the six-mile loop at Pine Valley Ranch Park/Pike National Forest hoping to find a Northern Pygmy-Owl.  No owls were regrettable found.  A female American Three-toed Woodpecker was encountered (our consolation prize).  It was a cold day as temperatures never reached to the 30s and made for a long, cold hike.

The Three-toed Woodpecker was 30 yards east of the Strawberry Jack Trail at 150 yards south of the junction with the Parkview Trail.

Here's hoping for better success for Northern Saw-whet Owls and Northern Pygmy-Owls tomorrow!

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