Friday, October 15, 2010

Blue, Bug-eyed Whipper Thrasher

Surely has been a nice, warm fall. Too dry, though. Everything just crunches under foot out in the field. Hard to be stealthy.

Went out to Welchester Tree Grant Park in Lakewood the other morning. Not much bird activity, but lots of dragonflies on wing, their shiny wings glinting in the early morning light. You can see them quite far off flashing in the sun. Saw a couple of different kinds. I couldn't ID them on the internet. One pretty knobby, robust one. Others more slender, with sports on the forward tips of their wings.

Other morning I drove out to South Table Mountain in Golden. Parking for access on the south near the Renewable Energy Labs seems to have been abolished by some kind of construction. That was the fastest easiest route to the top. I guess you could park in the business lots. I went around the east and north side and finally found a trail access with a two car parking area. Climbed up the north slope a bit. Not many birds. Scrub Jays off in the distance. Spooked a Kestrel. Did shoot this beautiful Common Buckeye butterfly. Never could get a nice clean shot without grass in the way. I think one of the most beautiful butterflies there is. Herd of about ten Mule Tail Deer were working across the slope above me. They kept an eye and some distance from me, but didn't seem overly concerned. I'm sure they see lots of people on the mountain, but maybe not on the little used north slope.

Been wanting to drive down to Turkey Creek Recreation area south of Colorado Springs on Fort Carson where there have been reports of Lewis's Woodpeckers. Didn't see any though. Big pumpkin hunt going on for base kids, so very noisy. Across the highway is the Aiken Canyon Nature Conservancy Reserve. 160 acres of undisturbed Pinon-Juniper, Scrub Oat foothills. No Lewis's there, either, but did see a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers. Too backlit for a good shot. Did see this Thrasher, a Sage Thrasher, I think. A lone Scrubjay was working over a Pinon tree. I had me a few Pinon's, too. Very sappy getting them out, but very tasty. In the parking lot I spotted this fuzzy caterpillar really whipping along across the gravel. He only stopped for a second when I blocked him with my finger, but then went along his way.