Friday, February 23, 2018

Colorado 2017 - Final Explorations : Day 5 - Dec. 29th, 2017

     On our final day in Colorado our flight home didn't leave until the late afternoon, so we had some time for some final explorations. As soon as we checked out of our lodge, we headed out of Estes Park and towards the Denver airport. We wanted to get to the airport area sooner rather than later just in case there were issues with traffic along the way. Luckily, our drive was uneventful, and we arrived at Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR with plenty of time for some slow, relaxed wildlife watching.

Last stop for the trip!
     This NWR, which is located within 15 minutes of the Denver airport, did not disappoint! We saw Fox Squirrels, Mule Deer, lots of Black-tailed Prairie Dogs, Bison, and of course....birds! One of these birds was a Northern Harrier who we watched hunt, kill, and eat a small rodent! We also saw a Red-tailed Hawk and our lifer Ferruginous Hawk hunting the prairie dogs. The Red-tailed Hawk actually ended up catching one, but couldn't seem to kill it, so the bird let it go. 

Squirrel "drinking" by licking up snow like a snowcone!

HAYYYYYYY

Northern Harrier eating the rodent she just caught

Gotta line the burrow with more insulation!

Snuggles!

Horned Lark

Couldn't get enough of the Black-tailed Prairie Dogs

Bison herd

Mule Deer buck

Some Bison came closer

Frozen lake with a few gulls and ducks in the unfrozen part. Rockies in the background.

American Tree Sparrow

The scenery is unbeatable!
     In just a few days we managed to see/hear 51 species of birds, and hiked many miles. Yes, the Rockies might be nice in the summer, but winter holds its own. Plus, the tourist towns are empty and much less stressful. We are definitely visiting again as soon as possible!

Complete list of birds below:

Species
Location
Date
1
Cackling Goose - Branta hutchinsii
Lake Estes
25 Dec 2017
2
Canada Goose - Branta canadensis
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
3
Northern Shoveler - Spatula clypeata
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
4
Gadwall - Mareca strepera
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
5
American Wigeon - Mareca americana
7147-7325 Ute Highway, Longmont, Colorado, US (40.203, -105.184)
28 Dec 2017
6
Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
7
Northern Pintail - Anas acuta
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
8
Green-winged Teal - Anas crecca
Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR
29 Dec 2017
9
Canvasback - Aythya valisineria
7147-7325 Ute Highway, Longmont, Colorado, US (40.203, -105.184)
28 Dec 2017
10
Ring-necked Duck - Aythya collaris
7147-7325 Ute Highway, Longmont, Colorado, US (40.203, -105.184)
28 Dec 2017
11
Common Goldeneye - Bucephala clangula
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
12
Hooded Merganser - Lophodytes cucullatus
Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR
29 Dec 2017
13
Common Merganser - Mergus merganser
Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary
25 Dec 2017
14
Ring-necked Pheasant - Phasianus colchicus
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
15
Pied-billed Grebe - Podilymbus podiceps
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
16
Great Blue Heron - Ardea herodias
4305-4409 Ute Highway, Longmont, Colorado, US (40.215, -105.254)
28 Dec 2017
17
Northern Harrier - Circus hudsonius
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
18
Bald Eagle - Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
19
Red-tailed Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
20
Rough-legged Hawk - Buteo lagopus
1101-1199 Devils Gulch Road, Estes Park, Colorado, US (40.392, -105.516)
26 Dec 2017
21
Ferruginous Hawk - Buteo regalis
Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR
29 Dec 2017
22
American Coot - Fulica americana
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
23
Ring-billed Gull - Larus delawarensis
Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR
29 Dec 2017
24
Rock Pigeon - Columba livia
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
25
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
26
Belted Kingfisher - Megaceryle alcyon
Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary
25 Dec 2017
27
Downy Woodpecker - Picoides pubescens
Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR
29 Dec 2017
28
Northern Flicker - Colaptes auratus
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
29
American Kestrel - Falco sparverius
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
30
Steller's Jay - Cyanocitta stelleri
Rocky Mountain NP--Endovalley--Alluvial Fan/Fan Lake area
26 Dec 2017
31
Blue Jay - Cyanocitta cristata
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
32
Black-billed Magpie - Pica hudsonia
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
33
American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos
Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary
27 Dec 2017
34
Common Raven - Corvus corax
Lake Estes
25 Dec 2017
35
Horned Lark - Eremophila alpestris
Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR
29 Dec 2017
36
Black-capped Chickadee - Poecile atricapillus
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
37
Mountain Chickadee - Poecile gambeli
Rocky Mountain NP--Endovalley--Alluvial Fan/Fan Lake area
26 Dec 2017
38
Pygmy Nuthatch - Sitta pygmaea
Rocky Mountain NP--Lumpy Ridge Trail
27 Dec 2017
39
Brown Creeper - Certhia americana
Rocky Mountain NP--Endovalley--Alluvial Fan/Fan Lake area
26 Dec 2017
40
Townsend's Solitaire - Myadestes townsendi
Rocky Mountain NP--Lumpy Ridge Trail
27 Dec 2017
41
American Robin - Turdus migratorius
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
42
European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
43
American Tree Sparrow - Spizelloides arborea
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
44
Dark-eyed Junco - Junco hyemalis
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
45
White-crowned Sparrow - Zonotrichia leucophrys
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
46
Song Sparrow - Melospiza melodia
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
47
Western Meadowlark - Sturnella neglecta
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
48
Red-winged Blackbird - Agelaius phoeniceus
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
49
House Finch - Haemorhous mexicanus
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017
50
Common Redpoll - Acanthis flammea
Cub Lake Trail, Estes Park, Colorado, US (40.356, -105.616)
27 Dec 2017
51
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
Barr Lake State Park
25 Dec 2017