Wednesday, April 5, 2017

One Day Trip to the Mountains

April 3, 2017

Richard Stevens:

We ran into inclement weather most of the day.  Our trip started at Loveland Pass (Clear Creek).  It took over two hours to find a White-tailed Ptarmigan.  The bird was up the hill west of Hwy 9.  We had parked at the first pullover on the east side of hwy 9 and south of the Loveland Pass Summit.

A visit to a friend's home in Summit County added the usual mountain species including three species of Rosy Finches.

We missed the American Three-toed Woodpecker up Rabbit Ears Pass (Grand) and turned eastward.  A Rough-legged Hawk was observed along highway 14.

At sunset, we watched several dozen Greater Sage-Grouse at the Jackson County Road 26 lek.  They were displaying during a snowstorm.

After dark, we searched for Boreal Owls either side of Cameron Pass.  Snow was falling rapidly.  Winds were 26 mph with gusts to 42 mph.  It was impossible to hear any of the sound-calling owls.

Our search continued through the early hours.  The wind and snow did not stop.  Weather reports indicated that the snow was not going to let up and we made the decision to return to Denver.

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