Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Few Days In Jackson County

February 5-7, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Thursday, 2/5
Rebecca Kosten and I stayed in Jackson County for a few days of rest and escape from the traffic of Denver.  The weather for the most part was nice, but mixed.  Every afternoon there was a brief snow shower.  Saturday night it snowed quite a bit.

Each morning we stopped by the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center and watched Rosy Finches.  Numbers were never greater than 40 birds and no Black Rosy Finches were among the mix of Gray-crowned and Brown-capped.

Thursday Night, we heard a Boreal Owl west of Cameron Pass.

Friday, 2/6
We rose early on Friday morning and drove Jackson County Road 26 to check on the Greater Sage-Grouse leks.  No birds came this morning.  We did find a Greater Scaup cross CR 26, just below the steep hill north of the entrance to the old Coalmont Lek.

After seeing about 30 Rosy Finches (no Black) at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center feeders, we walked across the road.  The distinct drumming of a male American Three-toed Woodpecker could be heard.  Finding the bird was another matter.

Later, we visited a friend's ranch. She has had between 100-400 Rosy Finches come to her feeders each day this winter.  At most, she has counted only two Black Rosy Finches (we never found any during our visit).

Two Boreal Owls were heard after dark (both on private property).

Saturday, 2/7

No Greater Sage-Grouse appeared while we sat at the Jackson County Road 26 Lek.  Quite a few footprints were in the snow, no sight of birds.

Again, Rosy Finches at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center, then we drove into Steamboat Springs.

A stop at the friend's home, added Sharp-tailed Grouse to our trip list!

We wandered around Routt County without finding any Waxwings (Cedar or Bohemian).

No American Three-toed Woodpeckers were found along the road to the Maintenance Shed on Rabbit Ears Pass (one of my favorite locations to find them).  A flock of 20 Red Crossbills did not include any White-winged Crossbills this trip.  Rabbit Ears Pass appears to be a good place to find them on occasion.

Again, no Greater Sage-Grouse visited the CR 26 leks at dusk.  We again heard just west of Cameron Pass.  Another was heard near Michigan Creek Road and Ruby Jewell Road.

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