Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Brief Grouse Trip, Northern Colorado

May 2-3, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann, Mark Abrams and I made a short mini-grouse trip.  Gunnison Sage-Grouse have been scarce at the Waunita Hot Springs Lek (Gunnison County) the last few days and the extra 400 mile drive was skipped.

May 2

At first light we observed 21 Greater Sage-Grouse at the Jackson County Road 26b leks!

Before breakfast we drove around Walden Reservoir and found half a dozen Marbled Godwits and Willets.

The feeders at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center had no uncommon birds.  A few Mountain Chickadees, Pine Siskins and a horde of Red-winged Blackbirds came to the feeders.

A male American Three-toed Woodpecker drummed across highway 14, about 40 yards east of the Visitor's Center.

Lake John Wildlife Area had few birds and we sat at the Delaney Butte Lek.  Seven Greater Sage-Grouse eventually displayed.

After dark, we walked a 1/2 mile either side of Cameron Pass.  Two Boreal Owls were found (one seen, another heard).

May 3

It was a long day today. We drove the 80 Route 30 minutes before sunrise.  A Dusky Grouse was at his usual place near the 2nd cattle guard. 

A dozen Sharp-tailed Grouse were relocated near the old Jimmy Gulch State Trust Lands.

A few Brown-capped Rosy Finches were found in Summit County.

We detoured to Loveland Pass (Clear Creek) where a pair of White-tailed Ptarmigan was observed below the western side of the Summit.

On the trip back to Denver, we made two stops.  The Long-tailed Duck was still at the west end of Rocky Mountain Lake.  The Northern Parula was heard near the eastern end of the chain link fence south of the Prospect Park footbridge.

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