Thursday, April 18, 2013

Grouse Trip Continues In a Snowstorm

April 17, 2013

Rebecca Kosten (transcribed from telephone call):

Yesterday afternoon we finally ran into the snow that the whole state has been experiencing for a week now.  After seeing Greater Sage-Grouse at the Jackson County Road 26 lek, we drove slowly to Walden.  This morning we woke up to 14 inches of snow.

The snow continued as we creped to the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center, Jackson County about twenty miles east of Walden.  Only a few Brown-capped Rosy Finches visited the feeders.

Conditions did not look great; however, we decided to continue to Fort Collins, Larimer County.  We did want to spend another night in Walden and Jackson County.

Rich Borzelli found a White-winged Crossbill at mile marker 105.6 of Highway 14!  Snow continued to fall and I had to stop and clean the wipers several times.  When we reached highway 14 and 287, the snow lessen a bit.

A drive around the CSU area of Fort Collins did not find any Bohemian Waxwings.  It was difficult to see anything in the falling snow.

However, we did not stop, instead continuing east toward the Pawnee National Grasslands, Weld County.  A check of county roads where Mountain Plover were reported yesterday, did not find one for us.

A male Chestnut-collared Longspur in breeding plumage was with Horned Larks along the side of highway 14 near Weld County Road 17.  Hundreds of Horned Larks lined highway 14.  We found several McCown's Longspurs with hundreds of Horned Larks along Weld County Road 37.

Conditions continued to deteriorate; Weld County Roads had almost a foot of snow on them.  We made a U-turn and settled down in a Motel in Fort Collins.

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