Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Escaping the Heat in Clear Creek & Summit Counties

June 12, 2017

I lead the CoBus trip to Mt. Evans (Clear Creek) on this wonderful summer day.  Five of us skipped the hot temperatures down in Denver while birding around snow piles on the Mountain.

Two Brown-capped Rosy Finches were observed flying around the north side of Summit Lake.  A few American Pipits and Common Ravens also stopped by for a drink.

We used our SUV as a windscreen and scoped the field below and east of the Summit Lake parking area.  Eventually we spotted a White-tailed Ptarmigan off in the distance!  Richard Berg was not able to walk far; that limited our birding range.

Back at the Echo Lake Campgrounds, we only had to walk about 50 yards before finding a male American Three-toed Woodpecker drumming on a pine tree. 

A Barrow's Goldeneye continued on Echo Lake.  Broad-tailed Hummingbirds buzzed overhead.  A Lincoln's Sparrow ran across the trail and a Green-tailed Towhee called from the willows. 

Regrettably, I was not able to find a Pine Grosbeak fairly close to our car.  Terry Michaels and I did see one and an additional American Three-toed Woodpecker along the telephone line, west side of Echo Lake.  It was a good 1/2 mile from the parking area.

Later we drove up Loveland Pass (Clear Creek).  Unfortunately, no White-tailed Ptarmigan were found.

A stop at a friend's home in Summit County added some nice birds to our trip list: Brown-capped Rosy Finches, Mountain Chickadees, Pine Siskins, Gray Jays, Clark's Nutcrackers, Band-tailed Pigeon, White-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatches, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers, Pine Grosbeaks and one Evening Grosbeak.

Nothing uncommon was at the Blue River Water Treatment Plant.  Two Ospreys were found nearby.

Great scenery, good friends and some nice birds, what more can anyone ask for?

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