Monday, June 30, 2008


Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl
With spring migration winding down and the breeding season in full swing, I found myself becoming a little more lethargic than in May with fewer oddities to chase. I took some weekends off from BGBYing, too, which may have taken a small toll. I went to AZ for a long weekend (life Gray Vireo :-) ), got a flu the next, and then enjoyed three days of music this past weekend. Needless to say, all the extra-curricular activities have delayed my attempts to search out Orchard Oriole and Ring-necked Pheasant. I'm not too worried about them.
I did track down a few good birds. On June 11th, I tracked down one of the last birds to set up shop in the local fields, a singing GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (#205) near my office on Cherryvale Rd. A SCARLET TANAGER (#206) returned for his second summer a little ways up Gregory Canyon. And finally, this morning I was fortunate enough to locate three young LONG-EARED OWLS (#207) while hiking around Shanahan Ridge. I returned in the heat of the afternoon to tick them off (off my list...tried not to literally) and to get a few photos.

Miles by bike: 945
Bird species: 207

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Rest of May

Gray-headed Dark-eyed Junco


Rose-beasted Grosbeak

Hooded Warbler

After three tries, I finally tracked down a skulky WORM-EATING WARBLER (#186) that had been found in "Warbler Woods" along Boulder Creek. This was on May 20th.
On the 23rd, I took a ride out to the Doudy Draw Trail to see if I could find a reported Indigo Bunting. Unfortunately, the late afternoon doldrums had set in, and I couldn't find the Indigo, but did find my first BLUE GROSBEAKS (#187) and MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (#188) for the green year. After striking out on the bunting, I rode up to the Eldorado Mountain Open Space. I had found a singing male Hooded Warbler on the 20th while at work, and it had stuck around. On the hike up to the warbler spot, I had an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (#189) hunting in an old burn. The HOODED WARBLER (#190) piped up on cue. A few meager "twees" brought a ROCK WREN (#191) bopping into view.
The mature cottonwoods along Boulder Creek as it goes through the Sawhill Ponds complex attracted a vocal YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (#192) that I tracked down on the 24th. A bonus was a female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (#193).
When I read a report of a Yellow-throated Warbler up in the Eldorado Mountain Open Space, near the Hooded Warb, I made a mad dash out there. Unfortunately, no warblers at all other than Virginia's. I did hear a RED-EYED VIREO (#194) singing down in the hamlet of Eldorado Springs.
I rode out in a soggy rain storm on May 26th after Walter Szeliga reported Lark Buntings at Walden. When I got there I was drenched and the Buntings weren't there. I took a walk around the perimeter of the ponds picking up two SNOWY EGRETS (#195) and 1 GREEN HERON (#196). When I completed my loop, the two female LARK BUNTINGS (#197) were sitting right there where they were supposed to be.
On May 28th, a bunch of good birds were found at Greenlee Preserve. Things like Yellow-throated Vireo. Unfortunately, I've been doing bird surveys at work, and this means I have to start around 5:30 am, which really takes a bite out of the morning birding. But when I get home in the early afternoon, I have plenty of time to go out on bike rides. But it's early afternoon...and it's hot...and birds don't show themselves easily in those conditions. When I got to Greenlee, it was pretty difficult to find any birds at all. Luckily, a WILLOW FLYCATCHER (#198) made the trip worth while. While at Greenlee, word of a Least Tern at Walden came through the grapevine, so off I went! When I got to Walden, there were two BLACK TERNS (#199) flying around, but the Least was MIA. After about 20 minutes, the LEAST TERN (#200!) flew in.
On June 1, I took a hike up Bear Peak. I had found an Ovenbird on the 30th while doing point counts, and my main goal was to track him down. As I headed up the Bear Canyon Trail, I found a singing GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE (#201) and CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHERS (#202). In the early afternoon heat, the OVENBIRD (#203) sang away.
I just returned from Safeway, and while unlocking my bike I spotted a COMMON NIGHTHAWK (#204) soaring around under a huge thunderhead.