Sunday, March 24, 2013

Grouse Trip Day 4, Search for Chukars and Dusky Grouse

March 23, 2013

Rebecca Kosten (cell phone message from Richard Stevens):

While Denver was receiving some nasty winter weather, snow and high winds, Richard Stevens, Jeff Palmer and John Murphy continued their grouse trip.

While they saw no snow, high winds and cold temperatures were seen throughout their day.

Several hours were spent walking Coal Canyon, Mesa County without seeing or hearing a Chukar.  A few flocks of Dark-eyed Juncos were the total birds encountered.  (This is not quite accurate.  Richard found one Chukar within 10 minutes of getting out of the car.  Every bird guides nightmare, the birders with him were not able to put their binoculars on the bird before it hid in the rocky cliffs.)

Another couple of hours driving Escalante Canyon, Delta County also did not produce a Chukar sighting.

The Western Screech-Owl did not come out of his tree at G50 road.  Winds were 14 mph, gusts to 23 mph at noon.  The previously reported Swan on the G50 pond was not found.

A Franklin's Gull and California Gull both in alternate plumage was found at Fruitgrower's Reservoir, Delta County. 

A final Chukar search along Payne's Siding Cutoff east of Fruitgrower's Reservoir was also not successful.

Their birding day ended at Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, Montrose County.  A Clark's Nutcracker, Townsend's Solitaire and several Spotted Towhees were found.  No Dusky Grouse displayed in the 14-degree temperature and 12+ mph winds.

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