Sunday, July 17, 2016

Western Slope Continued

July 12-15, 2016

July 12

We rested most of Tuesday.  Drove back to Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (Montrose) in the afternoon.  Two Dusky Grouse were found along the South Rim Drive between the Visitor's Center and the western end of the road.

Northern Pygmy-Owls responded to our recordings at 200 yards from the western end of the South Rim Drive and at the western end of Warner Point.  We did not see either owl this evening.

July 13-14

July 13

Today we made the drive along Engineer Pass Road to Engineer Pass and Lake City.  Along the trip, the road goes through Ouray and Hinsdale Counties.

No owls were found this year.  We did check at last year's GPS Waypoints.  American Three-toed Woodpeckers were found in Hinsdale (1) and Ouray (2) Counties.  Two Brown-capped Rosy Finches were found near Engineer Pass (Hinsdale).

The scenery along the road is fantastic and worth the drive.  I do recommend a 4 wheel drive vehicle.

July 14

We headed back west today and took Cinnamon Pass Road to the Animas Forks Cutoff.  Last year, Bryan Ehlmann and I made the strenuous four mile hike to find a White-tailed Ptarmigan for our Hinsdale list.  We opted to skip it this year.

Our first highlight of the day was a Grace's Warbler fluttering about Mill Creek Campground (Hinsdale).

Two American Three-toed Woodpeckers were found during a walk around Burrows Park Town site (Hinsdale).

Two Brown-capped Rosy Finches circled overhead at Cinnamon Pass.

Owling was a bust again tonight.  Winds were 14+ mph.  Stops at last year's GPS waypoints were quiet.  No owls were enticed to call at the Animas Forks Ghost Town.

July 15

We walked around Animas Forks Ghost Town.  An American Three-toed Woodpecker was the only interesting bird this morning.  Although Pine Grosbeaks should not be called uninteresting.

We returned to Silverton (San Juan) by way of CR 2.   Another American Three-toed Woodpecker was added to our trip list at Eureka Gulch Road (San Juan).

After several days of driving and little walking, we decided to hike up Minnie Gulch Road (San Juan).  A male White-tailed Ptarmigan made the highlight of our day!

Again, no owls were found :-(

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