Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Grouse Trip cont: Gunnison, Delta and the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park

April 15, 2013

Rebecca Kosten (transcribed telephone message):

Today we sat in our car about an hour and a half before sunrise at the Waunita Hot Springs Lek.  Eventually 16+ males and 4 female Gunnison Sage-Grouse visited the Lek.  They arrived about 50 minutes before sunrise and departed within 20 minutes.

A detour to 110 Evelyn Lane (7.3 miles north of Gunnison) found two Brown-capped Rosy Finches at the feeders (our target bird).  No additional Rosy Finches came in the next hour.  Later in the afternoon, we returned for another 30 minutes without seeing any Rosy Finches.

When we passed the Gunnison River just north of town, we stopped at a pullover.  An American Dipper was observed under the bridge.  An Osprey came by several times and grabbed fish out of the river (not far from us)!

With time to spare, our group drove to Fruitgrower's Reservoir (Delta County).  One hundred and thirty Marbled Godwits were at the northwest corner of the lake.  On Lesser Yellowlegs joined them.

A few Franklin's Gulls and one Bonaparte's Gull eventually flew along the northern shore.  Western Grebes, Eared Grebes and many American Coots were about all found on the water.

A Lewis's Woodpecker was seen feeding something (could not tell if it was an adult or young) in the tall old cottonwood tree in front of Evelyn Horn's home below the dam.

Several hours were spent at sunset and dusk looking for Dusky Grouse in Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (Montrose).  Unfortunately, a snowstorm hit the area about two hours earlier.  The ranger had closed the gate at the Visitor's Center and we were not able to drive to the southwestern end (where there are higher numbers of Dusky Grouse and I have had better success in finding Dusky Grouse; never missed).

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