Saturday, January 21, 2012

Birding today and this week

Today I met up with local birders Cole Wild (who is doing a Larimer County big year) and also Nick Komar. Both of these birders are some of the best birders I know so we all tried to find some harder birds. We started at Rist Canyon where we tried for Northern Pygmy-Owl but with no luck. Instead we got a Red Crossbill at the top of the canyon which was a great bird. Other mentionable birds were Hairy Woodpecker and Harlan's Hawk. We then dropped off Cole and me and Nick decided to go to Cattail Pond were a Trumpeter Swan had been seen lately with other new ducks for my year list. As we got there a long necked white bird rose from dabbling underwater, score, we got the swan. The other ducks we needed to also made quite an apearance with 67 Redeads, 2 Hooded Mergansers, and 20 Canvasback. We also saw an unexpected Bald Eagle which was also new. After this trip we headed to the CSU Environmental Learning Center were we got a look at 2 beautiful Wood Ducks hiding in a Russian Olive Tree by a warm water stream. We then moved on to a local hot spot called Sharp Point Drive Pond. Here is a good place to look for rare geese (like snow and ross's), but due to the 7 Bald Eagles surrounding the lake most of the geese we saw were flying. We did take a little trail to a cow pasture were Nick pointed out a large flock of Brewer's Blackbirds and said that some times you will find a Rusty in with them. That was pretty much my whole day of birding today and with the Western Meadowlark I got earlier this week that puts me at 79 birds so far. Good luck birding to all and hope you have fun doing it.


  1. Sounds like you had a great day, keep it up Skyler! Brewer's Blackbird was my number 400 for my Junior Big Year so will always be a special bird for me.

    Wanted to point one thing out: Harlan's Hawk. It's a great find but if you don't know this, it is not a countable bird. I got confused over it in my Big Year. I saw a Harlan and originally counted it on my list. It wasn't until about a month later while talking with a very experienced birder from this area that I learned that Harlan's is just a subspecies of Red-tailed and not countable as a separate species. Don't know if you counted that as one of your 79 or not, but if so, unfortunately you will have to de-list it.

    Sorry to 'ruin' your hawk :)


  2. Did you see the female Bufflehead that is at Cattail Pond?