Birding the Americas Trip Report and Planning Repository
Return to the Main Index

Return to the North America Index
Return to the U.S.A. Index
Return to the Colorado Index

19 - 27 June 1996

by Peter Saenger and John Muddeman

The following trip was made by a Brit (first time in W N.  America) and an east-coast birder.  We had a great trip and feel we couldn't have done much better for a first trip to this area.  In particular, we cannot thank enough those people who individually sent us information on places to go, or to those subscribers of COBIRDS who have posted info rmation on locations of species this spring.  All we can say is Thank You!  Peter saw 52 life birds and John 79 (one less than personal target, but with another 5 species on top of that for my ABA list, I'm certainly not complaining!!).  We carried tapes of nearly all target species for reference, which turned out to be absolutely invaluable, especially for the Empidonax flycatchers.  We also took along Peterson and the new Stokes guide covering the Western areas and a copy of Lane and Ho lt's -A Birder's Guide to Eastern Colorado.

We missed a few expected species, which we really should have got, but, well, another time!  In particular, these were Blue Grouse, Common Poorwill, Western Screech-Owl and Black-chinned Hummer.  We did not try for the various grouse and prairie-chickens i n any systematic way, as we felt that the time spent at this time of year (well after the peak of lekking for most) would be better spent on other finding other species.  Similarly, the lack of nocturnal species is simply a reflection of a lack of nocturna l effort on our part, and not on the presence or absence of the species!  Species names are mostly given in full, and also to subspecific level where readily field-identifiable.  Compass ordinations (north, east, south, west) are given as N, E, S & W, or combined as necessary.  This is not a complete list of the birds seen at each site, but includes all the new or interesting species to us.  e.g.  Lesser Goldfinches were seen at a number of sites other than those listed below, but due to a lack of good note-keeping......!

19 June Wednesday:

Flew USAir: left ABE 08:25 and connected in Charlotte, N.C.  at 12:50.  Arrived Denver at 14:12.  Went to Alamo Car rental: planned to pick-up pre-booked mid-size car ($242.32 for 9 days), but up-graded to a 4 wheel Drive Toyota Fourunner for an extra $72; probably never really needed the four-wheel drive facility, but nice to have on some of the roads for extra ground clearance and traction.

Between the airport and Barr Lake: many of the common species, Swainson's Hawk, Northern Harrier, Western Kingbird, Horned Lark, Western Meadowlark, etc., plus a Loggerhead Shrike well away from any cover.  Barr Lake: Worth the visit and has a bookstore for local flora/fauna guides, check lists, etc.  White Pelican, Western Kingbird, Black-billed Magpie, Brewer's Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Western Wood-Pewee, Bullock's Oriole.  13-lined Ground Squirrel, Mu le Deer.  A good place to start, and see the more common species.  Between Barr Lake and Ireland Res.: Cinnamon Teal, G.  B.  Heron; both 1/3 mile N of the Barr Lake entrance in a small roadside pool.  Ireland Reservoir (Keenesburg): Small reservoir along a dirt road; Yellow-headed Blackbird, White Pelican, Great-tailed Grackle, Western and Clarks Grebes (displaying), Neotropic Cormorant, Redhead, Lark Sparrow (just N of Res.).  Took a little while to fi nd many of the birds which are best viwed from the embankment at the N end.  Between Ireland Res.  and Latham Res.: Swainson's Hawk nest along road in lone tree, California Gulls.  Lower Latham Reservoir: Good meadow/grassland birds along road to S, but really could not get close enough to the water.  Three species of teal, California and Franklin's Gulls, American Avocets, Wilson's Phalarope, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Grasshopper Spa rrow.  3/4 miles east of Fort Collins, pond on S side of Rt.  #14: more White Pelicans.

Stayed in Fort Collins, Budget Host Inn ($52 for double room, plus tax), on Route #14, (970) 484-0870.  In-room coffee; clean place.  Miles for day: 97.

20 June Thursday:

Pawnee Grasslands area (strongly suggest a good atlas showing all roads while birding this area): Roads are dirt, but in many cases better than paved roads in the East!

SE corner of the intersection of Road 51 & Route 14: Burrowing Owls in the prairie-dog town.  Also Lark Buntings, Grasshopper and Brewer's Sparrows nearby.  Rt.  14, about 2 1/2 miles E of here: 2 pairs of Mountain Plover close by the road.  "junction" of 92 & 61: Burrowing Owls in the prairie-dog town and Cassin's Sparrow opposite these in the sage scrub.  NE of junction of 61 & 94: lots of displaying McCown's Longspurs.  Along road 63, between 92 & 94: Sage Thrasher.  On 94, between 61 & 63: Loggerhead Shrike near house.  Crow Creek Campground: Orchard Oriole, W.  Kingbird, W.  Wood-Pewee, Brown Thrasher, Loggerhead Shrike, Downy Woodpecker.  Corner of 108 & 87: Mountain Plover.  0.8 miles north of 110 & 87: Finally saw Chestnut-collared Longspurs in the heat of the early afternoon, which were coming in to drink at the small pond on E side of the road.  Lots of McCown's here also.  A good spot to check if you miss them elsewhere.  Us ual other species too, e.g.  Western Meadowlarks, Killdeer, etc.  Lark Buntings were spread throughout the area, and after the recent rains, the cacti were in bloom, along with many other flowering plants.  Pawnee Buttes: Rock Wren pair feeding young; Lark Sparrow.  The drive was interesting, scenery good, distant view of probable Prairie Falcon near 'the' buttes.  A Federal Express truck passed us on a track absolutely in the middle of nowhere - seemed right out of their commercial!  Headed N towards closest large tow n on map for food...  Junction of 118 & 113: Mountain Plover flew by, and then a Ferruginous Hawk flew over before landing in a field.  Had a late lunch in Pine Bluffs, Wy.  Not a highly recommended stop, as it was a little out of the way!, but there is a bar, Subway shop, post office, etc.  Drove W to Burns, then N through it into the prairies and sage-brush in a vain hope of bumping into Sage Grouse known in the area.  Failed (but then, if you don't try...), but had nice views of Swainson's Hawk, Northern Harrier and displaying McCown's Long spurs, and rather taller and more flower-rich prairie grasslands.

Stayed in Fort Collins again.  Miles for day: 245.

21 June Friday:

Birded along Rt.  #14, to Walden, which turned out to be a beautiful drive.  With an early start we had no problem with traffic or road noise.

Picnic Rock River Access: Common Merganser, Steller's Jay, Violet-green Swallow, Spotted Towhee, American Dipper, Virginia's Warbler, Cedar Waxwing.  Gray Rock Mt.  Trail: Black-headed Grosbeak and Solitary Vireo (plumbeus race).  Small unnamed pull-off!: Western Tanager, Spotted Towhee, Black-headed Grosbeak, more Violet-green Swallows.  Rock tunnel over road: White-throated Swifts & Violet-green Swallows.  Another Am.  Dipper along river.  Stove Prairie/Masonville Forest Road turn-off: Lesser Goldfinch, Spotted & Green-tailed Towhees, Yellow-breasted Chat, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Brewer's Blackbird, MacGillivray's Warbler, Cordilleran Flycatcher, probable Hammond's Fly., Mountain Chickade e, Virginia's Warbler, Black-headed Grosbeak, Violet-green Swallow.  A superb little spot, with excellent views of lots of good birds and very little disturbance.  River overlook, past Indian River Meadows: Mountain Bluebird, Audubon's Warbler, red-shafted Flicker.  Tunnel Picnic Sight: Am.  Dipper, Red Crossbill, Golden Eagle (carrying Yellow-bellied Marmot), MacGillivray's Warbler.  Turned-off on #103 toward Chamber's Lake.

After c. 1 mi.  pulled-off and walked along road and in woods: Pine Grosbeaks, Red Crossbill, Grey-headed Junco, Mountain Chickadee.  Chamber's Lake: Osprey, Three-toed Woodpecker (male on dead tree at extreme N end of lake), Wilson's Warbler, Gray Jay, Pine Siskin, Calif.  Gull, Pine Grosbeak, Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Cameron Pass: Gray Jay, White-crowned Sparrow, Pine Grosbeak, Wilson's Warbler.  We sat in the parking lot at the pass during an impressively heavy hail storm and watched lots of vehicles charging up the road at breakneck speeds.  We predicted that a vehicle was bound to miss the corner, and within a couple of minutes we were proved ri ght, as the second of a pair of 8-10 seater vans simply failed to turn and ploughed through a roadside pole and then gently into the embankment!

The situation was further highlighted almost immediately, when a car, coming the opposite way, stopped and a y oung couple got out (he in flip-flops in 1/2 inch of hail and water).  The girl ran across the road, but instead of asking (as we expected) if the people were OK, she ran up the embankment above the van, and posed while the he took a photo of her above the crash....  They then left, still without asking if the occupants were OK...  Unbelievable.  (NB.  the occupants were fine, and the first van came back to help get them out almost straight away).  I guess the lesson is, if the weather really is that poor, get off the road and let others try and kill themselves, as it appears that people won't necessarily help...  Junction of 14 & 21: Cassin's Finch, Pine Siskin, Mountain Bluebird, Broad-tailed Hummer.  Meadow Creek Res.: N.  Goshawk, Red-naped Sapsucker, lots of Broad-tailed Hummers, Western Grebe, Black-crowned Night-heron, Brewer's & Cassin's Sparrows, Common Merg., White Pelican, Common Snipe, White-crowned Sparrow.  A really nice little spot.  Lots of willow scrub along the river just after the turn-off, plus sage scrub on slopes, and conifers and aspens across the main road.

Stayed in Walden, North Park Motel, 625 Main St.  (970) 723-4271, $42.00, plus tax per night for double room, plus separate kitchen and newly renovated bathrooms.  OK place.  Ate at the bowling alley across street; good, inexpensive food.  Miles for day: 1 50.

22 June Saturday:

We had planned on visiting Arapaho NWR, but never made it there.  We had already seen most of our target species for Arapaho, so instead we went for Sage Grouse at Coalmont; about 12 miles SW of Walden, the owner of the North Park motel h aving given us directions from Rt.  14.  From Rt.  14, c.2 mi.  N of Hebron: Enticed out by a superb view over Grizzly Creek and adjacent wet meadows.  Scanning and scoping these produced Wilson's Phalaropes, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Green-winged and Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, White Pelican s, B-C Night-Herons, Common Snipe, plus calling Sora.  Suddenly a Long-billed Curlew called once and passed low over our heads, flying W!  It continued for c.3/4 mi.  before dropping out of sight into a meadow full of cows beyond the creek.  Superb!  Most unex pected as info.  gathered before the trip suggested that our only realistic chance for this species was in the far SE of the state.  Rise above Coalmont: we spent about and hour and a half walking through sage brush looking for the grouse.  No luck, but did spook (or maybe it spooked me more) a baby Pronghorn out of the brush (plus seeing several adults close-by) and saw White-tailed Pr airie-dogs.

In the area of Coalmont itself, we had Wilson's Phalaropes, Gadwall, Common Teal, Am.  Wigeon and Lesser Scaup in pools beside the road.  From the rise above Coalmont, we had seen Pole Mountain Lake which looked like an excellent site, and taking a quick look at the map, there appeared to be a good road going to it, so we drove down.  We paused at the KEEP OUT sign, but as it looked like a continuous public road on the map, we kept going (on JM's insistence), though it very quickly became evident that it ran right through to a farm and was probably a dead-end road.  A detailed check of the map confirmed this, but we were already almost by th e lake, and the sight of lots of wildfowl and gulls was enough to convince us that simply leaving at this point would be a wasted opportunity.  N.  Pintail, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, Eared and Western Grebes, California Gulls and Am.  Avocets proved us right , though we turned and left at the first opportunity.  (our apologies to the farm owners if indeed this is a private road).  With lots of time on our hands, we decided to head for Rabbit Ears Pass (on Rt.  14) and see what we could find at higher elevations.  1/4 mile up hill from the intersection of Rt.  14 & 40 we pulled off the road: a walk down into some wooded areas and meadows produced nothing new, but a large flock of Red Crossbills, MacGillivray's Warbler, and a calling sapsucker were good.  With more ti me, a nice area to pick-up missing aspen/meadow species.  c.  1/2 mi.  to the NW in the first parking area on the left: Pine Grosbeaks in the parking area.  Sapsucker.

We walked the small stand of pines next to the parking area and found a Williamson's Sapsucker nest, and were treated to watching both male and fema le coming to feed young.  Rabbit Ears Pass: Went for a walk on the north side of the road.  Lots of woodpecker holes in conifers.  John had a Marten almost walk right up to him.  We managed to get some good photos of it 10 feet up in a tree before it decided it had enough of us and r an off.  Wilson's Warblers and Lincoln's Sparrows in the scrub on the W edge of the wood.  White-throated Swift and Townsend's Solitaire fly-overs.  Chorus Frogs blasting away in a snow-melt pool on the edge of the wood seemed to be at remarkably high altitu de.  Took Road 100 (1/4 mile west of the pass) to the S: this is 30 miles of good dirt road that passed through some great habitat.  The wind picked-up and we were a little short on time, so we did not take advantage of much of it, but would recommend it to oth ers.  Olive-sided Flycatcher, Townsend's Solitaire, flocks of Red Crossbills and Pine Grosbeaks, and Yellow-bellied Marmot.  Moose tracks were the closest we knowingly got to this animal, but small patches of both Colorado Columbine and Calypso bulbosa (orc hid) in flower were terrific.

Walden: went to Walden Res.  in evening, along rd.  15.  Forster's Tern over road, California and Franklin's Gulls, Eared Grebes (very close), Wilson's Phalaropes, Am.  Avocets, Ruddy Ducks, plus a variety of other wildfowl.  Lots of Nighthawks low over motel in evening.

Stayed in Walden again.  Miles for day: ???.

23 June Sunday:

Rocky Mountain National Park Near Arapaho NWR: Coyote, White Pelican.  Road up into RMNP: Cordilleran Flycatcher, Hairy Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, Virginia's Warbler.  Medicine Bow Curve: White-tailed Ptarmigan, American Pipit, White-crowned Sparrow.  The Tundra was just beginning to bloom, and we took some time to walk here and enjoy the scenery.  Lava Cliffs: Brown-crowned Rosy Finch (1 female), Raven.  On drive down: Steller's Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, Gray-headed Junco.  Bear Lake: Gray & Steller's Jays and Clark's Nutcracker.  (+ the expected hordes of people).  Took a hike to Loch Lake for Black Swift; had one possible Black Swift at a long distance.  Gray & Steller's Jays, Clark's Nutcracker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Red Crossbills, Pine Grosbeaks.  Trail was reasonably people-free after the first set of waterfalls, even in late afternoon.  Mosquitoes bad at the lake; take anti-bug juice!  RMNP is worth the drive for the scenery and numbers of mammals, perhaps more than for the birds.  Obviously, try to avoid weekends, due to high numbers of people, though we had no real problems, especially early in the morning.  Approaching from the W side is probably better due to apparently less traffic.  (Fall river road was only open to cyclists at the time of our visit).  Lots of very visible mammals in RMNP: Elk, Least Chipmunk, Colorado Chipmunk, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, Yellow-bellied Marmot, Pika.  Heed the warnings about Bubonic Plague, etc.

Stayed in Estes Park at the Columbine Inn (970) 586-4533, $79.00 plus tax for double room.  Very clean, neat place and the people are excellent.  Coffee in lobby with fresh cinnamon rolls at 8:00 am.  Peach cobbler w/ice cream at night.  Great place.  Felt ver y homely.  Miles for day: 136.

24 June Monday:

RMNP to Caqon City.

Moraine Park (directions per Lane Guide): Pygmy Nuthatch, Hammond's Flycatcher, a probable Dusky Fly., Band-tail Pigeon and Red-naped Sapsucker.  Spent maybe two hours looking for both flycatchers, and came out of woods slightly disappointed at not confirm ing a Dusky.  However, almost immediately, had a Black Swift feeding fairly low over the meadow & trees in excellent light for a couple of minutes!  Totally unexpected, but we didn't mind at all!  Seemed like just reward for the 6+ miles we hiked the day bef ore and missed it!  Apparently we're not the first people to have seen one here, and as it was loosely associating with a group of swallows, perhaps worth keeping an eye open if you see any mobile feeding flocks of these.  Headed S (v.  happy!).  2.1 miles from Lyon city limits: a pair of Lewis' Woodpeckers flycatching over the road.  Garden of the Gods: Prairie Falcon - great views of adults soaring back and forth at the top of rock faces, plus 3 fledglings sitting on ledge.  Scrub Jay; sadly, first one was a fledgling that was hit by the car in front of us and soon died.  Bushtit, Spot ted Towhee, White-throated Swifts.  In the small valley and Piqon pines up from Spring Valley picnic ground, Mountain Chickadee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Raven, Western Wood-Pewee.  Interesting place, though too many people.  We arrived mid-afternoon - not the best time to be birding on a clear, hot, windy day!  Headed for Caqon City, past Ft.  Carson and through interesting Piqon Pine and dry grass- and scrubland scenery.  A Band-tailed Pigeon over the road on the S edge of Colorado Sprin gs was unexpected.

Stayed at Caqon Inn, Caqon City;(719) 275-8676, $80.00 plus tax for double room.  Has a small pool, and 6 hot tubs.  Nice, but worth looking for cheaper place in town.  e.g.  Best Western, etc.  Coffee in lobby at 5:30 am, maybe earlier.  Miles for day: 187.

25 June Tuesday:

Temple Canyon, Brush Hollow Res., Pueblo, La Junta, Comanche National Grasslands, up to Green Mountain Falls.

Field on right shortly before entering Temple Creek canyon: Say's Phoebe, Blue Grosbeak, and Canyon Towhee.  Temple Canyon Park: Ash-throated Flycatcher, Plain Titmouse, Bushtit, Virginia's Warbler, Gray Flycatcher, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Rock Wren, and Western Tanager.  Didn't look at the (numerous) hummingbird feeders at the one house near the entrance of the park as we (mistakenly) assumed that there would be some sort of visitors centre there with their own feeders...  Take your own if necessary for the Black-chinned Hummers.  First large field on left after leaving park: Cassin's Kingbird and Say's Phoebes.  Piqon Pines near toll booth for Grand Gorge: Great-crested Flycatcher (note: We did not pay the $11.00 per person to drive through).  At the toll booth, many Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, plus Western Tanager, nesting (plumbeus race) Solitary Vireo (NB.  the m ale sounded identical to, and also responded to the 'Gray Vireo' recording from the Western Birds CD on our tape, even though we had the female in our scope, on the nest, at 25 feet.....Hmm?!), overly friendly deer, and friendly toll booth assistant.  He a llowed us to stand at his booth and photograph the hummers and gave us some local history.  Nice, but still wouldn't let John hide in the back of the truck to save $11.00!  Returned to Caqon City.  Took road #123, that almost parallels Rt.  50: 1/2 mile down we had two Scaled Quail run across the road, plus lots of Cassin's and Lark Sparrows in the scrub.  Brush Hollow Res., (just N of Penrose):

Had a flock of feeding Pinyon Jays in the Piqon Pines SW of the reservoir, reached by taking the track to the left, immediately before the entrance gate.  Yellow-breated Chat, Blue Grosbeak and Bullock's Orioles in t he willows and scrub below the dam.  Also found fossil teeth of a ?shark in a dried washout at the E end of the res.  dam.  Mississippi Kite was a target species for both of us, so we headed for Pueblo, were they had been seen in town; no luck at the park, or around the high school, so we headed E to La Junta.  During the c.30 mi.  drive from Pueblo to La Junta we had at least 8 Lewis' Woodpeckers along the road.  La Junta: Our first kite was on a TV antenna, then another flew into a tree down the block.  (Behind the Upper Room Fellowship Building on 8th street, between Santa Fe and San Juan roads).  There were actually 8 birds in one tree!  Never thought I'd have tha t many, and so close and at one time.  Nice way to compare plumage differences of the adults and 1st-summers.

Took Hwy. 109 for 35 miles toward Kim: looked for Chihuahuan Raven and Roadrunner.  No luck.  We had Ravens, though not Chihuahuan's.  According to the (non-birding) manager of Arbie's in La Junta, Roadrunners are most common c.30 mi.  along this road from La Junta!  At this point, we had one full day remaining and had to choose between heading to Baca County and Cottonwood and Picture Canyons for the SE specialties, or, to head back to the mountains for a few species we missed there.  We decided to head back to the m ountains for a number of reasons; we could see the edge of a very large storm pounding Baca county (whilst listening to the severe weather reports about it on the radio!), the mountains were much closer to the airport with better scenery, and were also co oler.  With an extra day however, the choice would have been different.

Rocky Top Motel & Camp Ground, Green Mountain Falls, $45.00 plus tax for single room.  OK place, we had the only room available.  Coffee in lobby at 6:00 am.  Nice country setting (2-3 miles from Woodland Park).  Miles for day: 372.

26 June Wednesday:

Woodland Park, Antero Res., Guanella Pass, Empire, Winter Park, back via Rt.6 to Denver.  A long day, with lots of driving, varied scenery and particularly good weather.

Rocky Top Motel & Green Mountain Pass: Cordilleran Fly.  at each.  1/2 mi.  down FR 339 off Rt.67 (c.5 mi.  N of Woodland Park): Hammond's and Dusky Fly's, Red-naped Sapsucker, MacGillivray's Warbler, Mountain Chickadee.  Great to finally see and hear a Dusky Fly.  at close range.  (Needed luring with a tape, like several Ham mond's which had responded much faster, earlier-on).  Antero Res.: marsh on the S side held White-faced Ibis, Snowy Egret, Am.  White Pelican, Grasshopper Sparrow, Am.  Avocet, Wilson's Phalaropes.  Continued along road to furthest point before no entry sign and walked to edge of slope overlooking res.  Terrific view over most of reservoir, with 100's of birds visible: Big mixed flock of Franklin's and California Gulls, White Pelicans and D-C Cormorants (very distant), c.200!  Eared Grebes + nests, Cinnamon and Common Teal, Am.  Avocets, and briefly, a Prairie Fal con attacking a feeding Nighthawk over the gull flock!  A Vesper Sparrow on the slope was a trip bird.  Guanella Pass: very quiet for birds, but photographed a few plants on the way up (Dodecatheon, etc.).  Just enjoyed scenery, especially view to Mt Evans etc.

Comments about severe overgrazing by Elk in RMNP very obvious here, where extensive areas of willo w scrub are present.  Decided to move on to Empire and Winter Park to follow-up tips on Black-chinned Hummers, Band-tailed Pigeons (wanted a good look at one) and see if the Magnificent Hummer was still around.  Empire: excellent food in the restaurant, but only one female B-t.  Hummer seen, and no feeder appropriate for the pigeon.  Below Berthoud Pass: Olive-sided Fly.  on edge of forest below view-point, where an avalanche has cut through.  There are several rather impressive avalanche lines cutting through the forest here.  Winter Park: lots of B-t., but no other species of hummer.  Lots of Cassin's Finches at feeders here too.  Spoke at length to the very friendly owner, and discovered that the Magnificant Hummer had not been around for c.10 days (as suspected, but you never know...).  Also, too early for Rufous (also as expected), and Black-chinned has never been recorded there.

Headed back towards Denver on Rt.  40.  We had considered taking FR 149 (Moffat Rd.), but with a few storms rolling through, and a lack of time, we cho se instead to pull-off down a dirt track a short way outside Winter Park in an attempt to find Blue Grouse.  Reached the bottom of a trail which had great promise, but with several other vehicles and people around, decided to quit and head towards Denver.

Stayed at Pleasant Valley Motel, Golden (303) 279-2547 (3 miles from Red Rocks).  $41.00 plus tax for double room.  Big, clean room at a great price.  Not the best looking place, but OK.

27 June Thursday:

Red Rocks, Rt.  74, Mt Evans State Wildlife Area, DIA & home.

Went to Red Rocks: As we turned off the main road we had a singing male Lazuli Bunting next to the road and a hundred feet up the road we had a Canyon Wren singing on the rock slabs, giving us great looks.  Cordilleran Fly., Lesser Goldfinch and Spotted To whees, also.  With 4 hours left before we needed to head for the airport, we headed back to the mountains in a last-ditch attempt for Blue Grouse.  Followed the Lane guide instructions, taking Rt.  74 through Evergreen to the Mt Evans State Wildlife Area.  Yet another lovely place, that if we had had the time we would have spent a day in, hiking, exploring, and birding.  We heard what sounded like a Three-toed Woodpecker, but could not follow it due to time.  The "Living with Mountain Lions" and "Living with Bl ack Bears" signs were interesting to us and made us look over our shoulders more than once!  The suggestion of fighting back using my pair of Leica's (if attacked), is a rather unappealing thought, for numerous reasons!!!  No luck on the grouse, but Pygmy N uthatch, Townsend's Solitaire, more Broad-tailed Hummers (Is it possible to tire of looking at these?!), etc.  Also had a Dipper flying along the creek on the way down, and several Lazuli Buntings and Cordilleran Fly's beside the road.  Pena Blvd.: Just before crossing Tower road, a Ferruginous Hawk off to the side was a fitting end to the trip, giving good flight views.

Left Denver at 15:15 on USAir, arriving in Pittsburgh at 20:08, before leaving Pittsburgh at 21:45.  Arrived ABE at 20:43.


Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
Am. White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Canada Goose
Green-winged Teal
American Black Duck
Northern Pintail
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
American Wigeon
Lesser Scaup
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Mississippi Kite
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Northern Goshawk
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Prairie Falcon
Ring-necked Pheasant
White-tailed Ptarmigan
Scaled Quail
American Coot
Mountain Plover
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Long-billed Curlew
Common Snipe
Wilson's Phalarope
Franklin's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Forster's Tern
Rock Dove
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Burrowing Owl
Common Nighthawk
Black Swift
Chimney Swift
White-throated Swift
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Lewis' Woodpecker
Red-naped Sapsucker
Williamson's Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Three-toed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (red-shafted)
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Wood-Pewee
Hammond's Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Say's Phoebe
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Cassin's Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Gray Jay
Steller's Jay
Blue Jay
Scrub Jay
Pinyon Jay
Clark's Nutcracker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Plain Tit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren
American Dipper
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend's Solitaire
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Sage Thrasher
Brown Thrasher
American Pipit
Cedar Waxwing
Loggerhead Shrike
European Starling
Solitary Vireo (Plumbeus)
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Virginia's Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Wabler (Audubon's)
Black-throated Gray Warbler
MacGillivray's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Canyon Towhee
Cassin's Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Brewer's Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Lark Bunting
Grasshopper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow (orianthae)
Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-headed)
McCown's Longspur
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Bullock's Oriole
Brown-capped Rosy Finch
Pine Grosbeak
Cassin's Finch
House Finch
Red Crossbill
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


Mule Deer
Gray Fox
Least Chipmunk
Colorado Chipmunk
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Richardson's Ground Squirrel
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Yellow-bellied Marmot
Black-tailed Prairie Dog
White-tailed Prairie Dog
Meadow Vole
Desert Cottontail
Black-tailed Jackrabbit
White-tailed Jackrabbit
A BIG brown Bat
lots of Beaver dams; but no Beavers seen.

References (All purchased from ABA Sales)

Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme Mapping: Anyone doing an independent trip should get this.

Birding the Front Range, Robert Folzenlogen. Good information, though not used as much as expected. Excellent habitat information.

Colorado Birds, Robert Andrews & Robert Righter. An atlas type book. Very helpful in our planning.

Peter Saenger
Allentown, PA

John Muddeman
Allentown, PA

Birding Top 500 Counter