Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Guanella Pass Fall Count

September 14, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Four of us conducted the Guanella Pass fall count (Clear Creek).  Temperatures were in the low 50s; anemometer readings were 10+ mph, gusts to 22 mph.  Thanks to Bryan Ehlmann, Jacob Washburn & Ray Simmons for their participation.

Only two White-tailed Ptarmigan were found in three hours at the top of the pass.  They can be quite difficult to find in summer when the willows are in bloom and 4-5 feet high.

The best bird at the top of the pass was Brewer's Sparrows (2).  They were Timberline Brewer's Sparrows, which someday maybe split from the Brewer's Sparrows found at lower elevations.

Other birds found at the top of the pass included a flyover Prairie Falcon, White-crowned Sparrows, American Pipits, Mountain Bluebirds (2), four Brown-capped Rosy Finches and a surprising Wilson's Warbler!

We then hiked around the Campgrounds area and up Lost Silver Dollar Lake trail.  Two American Three-toed Woodpeckers were found around the Campgrounds and another two up the Lake trail.

Other birds recorded around the Campgrounds and Guanella pass road included: six Wilson's Warblers, a male MacGillivray's Warbler, four Pine Grosbeaks, ten Red Crossbills, Hairy Woodpeckers, Red-naped Sapsucker (2), Lincoln's Sparrows, Pine Siskins, White-breasted Nuthatches, Red-breasted Nuthatches (2), and a Townsend's Solitaire.

Farther down the road, we found three Northern Pygmy-Owls and a Northern Saw-whet Owl.  Two additional Northern Pygmy-Owls were picked up on our "owl listening stations".

Suspects: Jacob and Ray were almost sure they had a Swamp Sparrow along South Clear Creek.

Misses: no Black Swifts at Square Top Lakes Falls.

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