Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Into the Mountains, Escaping the Hot Temperatures

May 26, 2018

Rebecca Kosten and I headed up to Gould and Jackson County to escape the heat and thunderstorms.  Our only stop was Rigden Reservoir (Larimer).  We scoped the lake and saw the Ruddy Turnstone quite a ways north of us.

After dark, we stretched our legs with a walk down to the Crags Campgrounds (Jackson).  One of the resident Boreal Owls called without any help by us from south of the Campgrounds.

May 27, 2018

Temperatures were a cool 70 degrees at Gould.  Winds stayed around 6-7 mph.

After a leisure and late start to our birding day, we walked up Jackson County Road 21.  Nothing uncommon was encountered.  Broad-tailed Hummingbirds were the only hummingbirds found.  Usually Calliope Hummingbird and Rufous Hummingbirds do not show up until late June or July.

We drove through the Colorado State Forest and checked on several of the Boreal Owl boxes that I have been monitoring since 1999.  None was found occupied today.

An American Three-toed Woodpecker was up Ruby Jewell Road about 200 yards from Jackson County Road 41. A pair of Red-naped Sapsuckers and Hermit Thrush was around the clearing about 400 yards up the road. 

After complete dark, we walked about a mile up Ruby Jewell Road.  Eventually we heard two Boreal Owls and one Flammulated Owl.

May 28, 2018

Temperatures were great with the high only reaching 63 degrees in Gould.  Winds were 10-11 mph with gusts to 15 mph.  An hour after dark, the winds calmed down.

In the morning, we enjoyed watching the resident birds around the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center.  These included two Fox Sparrows, a MacGillivray's Warbler, Pine Siskins, a Pine Grosbeak, Cassin's Finches, Mountain Chickadees, a Dusky Flycatcher, and Olive-sided Flycatcher.  Highlights were one Brown-capped Rosy Finch (late in season) and two Band-tailed Pigeons. 

The American Three-toed Woodpecker at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center was missed today.  Later, a male American Three-toed Woodpecker was found drumming at Ranger Lakes.

We returned to the Colorado State Forest and Michigan Lake because of Andreas Winnem's report of a Northern Waterthrush.  While we missed the Northern Waterthrush in an hour or two search, a young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was a great consolation prize.  I checked; this was the fourteen Rose-breasted Grosbeak reported along the Michigan River (in the past 15 years)!

On the way back to Denver, we stopped at the Zimmerman Lake Loop Trail (Larimer).  Our target birds were White-winged Crossbills and American Three-toed Woodpeckers.  One out of two was found.  Two American Three-toed Woodpeckers searched for food along the trail intersection.

After dropping out of Cameron Pass area, we detoured to Pennock Pass (Larimer).  Eventually we found two Flammulated Owls at different locations!

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