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Colorado Trip Report 2021


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Day 1:

Lots and lots of driving today, some of which was done by @Bombycilla Cedorum. The most interesting road birds include:

KS

Upland Sandpiper 

Broad-winged Hawk*

CO

Red-headed Woodpecker (On the high plains??!!??)

Cassin's Kingbird*

Common Raven

Black-billed Magpie

Possible Sage Thrasher

Possible Prairie Falcon

 

We arrived at Woodland Park 6:00 Mountain time and found a lot of interesting birds and mammals:

Steller's Jay (photo lifer!)

Black-billed Magpie

Possible Evening Grosbeak

A whole bunch of warblers that would not come out of the treetops for anything, so couldn't ID them.

 

Also found Mammal lifers Mule Deer and Desert Cottontail!

 

 

 

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It was my first time driving on the interstate so I was pretty nervous. At one point while I was driving it started raining cats and dogs. I could barely see. But I made it (obviously). The Red-headed Woodpeckers were absurd. Also @Seanbirds forgot that we saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird crossing the highway soon after we got started.

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Just now, Bombycilla Cedorum said:

It was my first time driving on the interstate so I was pretty nervous. At one point while I was driving it started raining cats and dogs. I could barely see. But I made it (obviously). The Red-headed Woodpeckers were absurd. Also @Seanbirds forgot that we saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird crossing the highway soon after we got started.

Wow, very cool! I know I would be nervous...I remember when my sisters started driving for the first time.

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7 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

"*" indicates lifer.

 

Day 1:

Lots and lots of driving today, some of which was done by @Bombycilla Cedorum. The most interesting road birds include:

KS

Upland Sandpiper 

Broad-winged Hawk*

CO

Red-headed Woodpecker (On the high plains??!!??)

Cassin's Kingbird*

Common Raven

Black-billed Magpie

Possible Sage Thrasher

Possible Prairie Falcon

 

We arrived at Woodland Park 6:00 Mountain time and found a lot of interesting birds and mammals:

Steller's Jay (photo lifer!)

Black-billed Magpie

Possible Evening Grosbeak

A whole bunch of warblers that would not come out of the treetops for anything, so couldn't ID them.

 

Also found Mammal lifers Mule Deer and Desert Cottontail!

 

 

 

I do hope you are having a great time. Nice on the Upland Sandpiper. Was it sitting on a fence post? Kansas doesn't have Mule Deer? The Warblers were probably mostly Butter Butts.  Eastern Colorado is a good place to find Red-headed Woodpeckers. What are you calling the high plains?

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5 minutes ago, Seanbirds said:

I tried to look for them around the Prairie Dog mounds, but we were going too fast to be able to check them thoroughly.

I hear that! And trying to get the driver to stop so you can bird wasn't going to happen. Some times they make it easy and sit on fence posts.

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7 hours ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

Went on a trip to Albany county today, interesting road birds included-

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove 

Mourning Dove...

😛

Just joking, but I did go to Albany.

Many many road trips in Colorado in the summer were like this.  In the spring you could throw in several singing their lungs out Western Meadowlarks. A bird you can hear doing 70 mph with the windows rolled up.

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Day 2:

Woke up this morning and did some birding at the campground where we were staying. Got some cool birds, including lifer Red-naped Sapsucker* and a House Wren that nearly gave me a heart attack because I thought it was a Rock Wren at first.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S94109477

 

After breakfast (waffles!!) we went to Garden of the Gods to get a good checklist, landscape shots, and three lifers:  Band-tailed Pigeon*White-throated Swift*, and Western Wood Pewee*. Other goodies included Woodhouse's Scrub-JaySpotted Towhee, and Pygmy Nuthatch.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S94176298

 

A little bit later we went to Fountain Creek Regional Park, with high hopes for a Dipper. Here's the tally (didn't bother making a checklist):

Blue Jay

Black-capped Chickadee

American Robin

That was IT.

Well, not quite. We did see a couple of American Bullfrogs as well as some cool bugs and an AMAZING waterfall (probably where the Dipper had been reported).

 

In the afternoon we were kinda bored (even though I got some great looks at Mule Deer), so Dad took us on a surprise trip to Manitou Lake, which was awesome. I got bird lifer Green-tailed Towhee*, Mammal lifers Colorado Chipmunk and Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, and Herp lifer Western Terrestrial Gartersnake.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S94176343

 

Edited by Seanbirds
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Day 3:

Did a bit of birding on the morning after breakfast (waffles!) and got some decent birds, including the first Broad-tailed Hummingbird of the trip and the best photos I've ever gotten of a Northern Flicker.

In the afternoon we went to Aiken Canyon Preserve. We started hiking/birding and soon enough we came across a sign that said we were on a four mile loop. That was a bit more of a hike than we were expecting,   but we decided we could do it. For a while everything was good. I got my lifer Brewer's Sparrow* and a Plateau Fence Lizard (Herp lifer). Then one of our party did a faceplant on a rock and the rest of us got banged up a bit as well. But we kept going. Then a few minutes later the sky started to darken up and It was thundering like crazy and threatening to rain. I even saw some lightning. I prayed that the Lord would hold off the rain and He did. We only got a few light sprinkles while it was raining hard and hailing at the car. Finally it cleared up and the sun came out. It was beautiful. After that, we came to a split in the trail. one direction said "Loop Trail", which we were supposed to be on, and the other one said "Canyon Tail". Somehow @Bombycilla Cedorum got the signs mixed up and we went down the Canyon Trail instead! We went for about 2 miles down the wrong trail. It was rough and rocky and the forest thickened up pretty quickly. Then we started seeing signs of Bear (scat and claw marks on trees) which was quite unnerving. Finally we came to a huge fallen tree that blocked the road up ahead. We realized we had taken the wrong trail and had to go back. By then we were all dead tired and very dispirited. On the way back down the trail we started singing to lift our spirits. It really helped! We finally made it back to the right trail and stumbled the rest of the way back (turns out it was quite a long way) to the car. We all agreed that we never wanted to do that again.

In spite of all of this I still got two more lifers:

Canyon Wren*

Olive-sided Flycatcher* (a big nemesis before)

https://ebird.org/checklist/S94207214

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13 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

Day 2:

Woke up this morning and did some birding at the campground where we were staying. Got some cool birds, including lifer Red-naped Sapsucker* and a House Wren that nearly gave me a heart attack because I thought it was a Rock Wren at first.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S94109477

 

After breakfast (waffles!!) we went to Garden of the Gods to get a good checklist, landscape shots, and three lifers:  Band-tailed Pigeon*White-throated Swift*, and Western Wood Pewee*. Other goodies included Woodhouse's Scrub-JaySpotted Towhee, and Pygmy Nuthatch.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S94176298

 

A little bit later we went to Fountain Creek Regional Park, with high hopes for a Dipper. Here's the tally (didn't bother making a checklist):

Blue Jay

Black-capped Chickadee

American Robin

That was IT.

Well, not quite. We did see a couple of American Bullfrogs as well as some cool bugs and an AMAZING waterfall (probably where the Dipper had been reported).

 

In the afternoon we were kinda bored (even though I got some great looks at Mule Deer), so Dad took us on a surprise trip to Manitou Lake, which was awesome. I got bird lifer Green-tailed Towhee*, Mammal lifers Colorado Chipmunk and Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, and Herp lifer Western Terrestrial Gartersnake.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S94176343

 

Jealous of the Band-tailed Pigeon! I never managed to see one when I lived in Colorado. The very best place to see American Dippers is at Lair of the Bear above Morrison, Colorado. You were no where near there though. Perhaps another time.

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2 hours ago, Clip said:

Jealous of the Band-tailed Pigeon! I never managed to see one when I lived in Colorado.

They were a couple of lucky flyovers. I'm so glad I didn't just pass them off as just a couple of Rock Pigeons! I could have easily missed a lifer.

Merlin said Band-taileds were very common in the Woodland Park area, but I found soon enough that wasn't the case.

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2 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

They were a couple of lucky flyovers. I'm so glad I didn't just pass them off as just a couple of Rock Pigeons! I could have easily missed a lifer.

Merlin said Band-taileds were very common in the Woodland Park area, but I found soon enough that wasn't the case.

Yep! I probably have seen them but passed them off as Rock Pigeons. I can't say I ever birded the Woodland Park area. I have the Garden of the Gods a few times.

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