Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December Birds

It's Been an extremely dry and warm winter so far. Been a few oddities lately. Heard reports of some interesting birds out at the Red Rocks Trading Post. There are some feeders and folks bring seeds to attract birds. There's good cover, water, and food so quite a few birds. A Curved-bill Thrasher has been coming to the feeders all fall and winter. Quite a bit out of it's northern- most range down in SE. Colorado, although I saw a pair down at Aiken Canyon south of Colorado Springs earlier this fall. The Thrasher sure stood his ground against a flock of Scrub Jays, and they got out of his way. I think I would, too, considering that long curved bill and those evil eyes.

I'm not real good with Sparrows, but I found a Harris's - a lifer, for me - and White-throated Sparrow interesting. Used to see lots of the later in the hedges in Memphis in the winter. The Harris's is really beautiful.

Folks have been seeing a Golden-crowned Sparrow, but it didn't show the two times I've been out to the park. That would be a lifer for me as well, and pretty rare for this locale.

You see quite a few of these yellow variant House Finches. I think there were at least two in the flock of maybe 20 or more House Finches. There were also lots of Juncos of three races, and a Spotted Towhee. I think Towhees are very handsome and it's crazy how they give themselves away with their scratching in the under-brush.

I left Red Rocks and drove down to the S. Platte River in south Denver. Reports of lots of ducks. Hard to get close, but I got a few shots of this Northern Pintail. Lots of Mallards, a couple Green-winged Teal, a few Buffleheads and one female Golden-eye. Our, lately, almost constant wave cloud, made lighting poor so I gave up the hunt. Warm winter weather often brings these wave clouds that shade the front range, but the plains and mtns. bask in bright sun.

First real snow of the season coming tomorrow. Will be interesting to see what that does to the visitors at Red Rocks.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Red Rocks Birding

Haven't been out shooting anything for the blog in a long time. Was so nice today, I headed out early to Trading Post at Red Rocks Park to look for the Harris's Sparrow, Golden Crowned Sparrow, and Curved-bill Thrasher being reported there. Quite a few folks and lots of birds. The feeders there attract not only a lot of birds, but also squirrels, and chipmunks. There were lots of Scrub Jays, House Finches, and English Sparrows. Pretty soon the Harri's came out. Very striking Sparrow. Got a few shots. There's also been a White-throated Sparrow reported and he made a very brief appearance, but stayed well back in the brush. The Golden Crowned also came out very briefly, but I mean brief. I don't think anyone got a shot. The Curved-bill Thrasher was quite cooperative. Those yellow eyes are quite remarkable. Also a Flicker or two, and a Spotted Towhee.

Met a fellow named Ken who wanted me to send him a shot of the Harri's, but I quite promptly came home and put my pants with his card in the wash. Sorry. If you'll drop me a line, I'll be glad to send you a couple, Ken. Sorry.