Sunday, April 10, 2011

First Part of April

Birding has been pretty slow so far this spring. I did take a trip down to Pueblo Reservoir earlier in the spring to look for Bluebirds. I saw a few, but it was windy and birding was tough. It's such a windy dry spring. I hope that doesn't deter migration, but it does seem slow to me.

I heard about a Mandarin Duck over at Prospect Park in Wheat Ridge. Drove over there one afternoon to a small crowd of birders and photogs looking for it. Sure enough there it was as reported over by the dock and in love with a female Mallard who's side he rarely left. Gorgeous duck. I don't know much about them, except that they certainly aren't native to North America. Almost certainly an escapee from a zoo or something. While there I got a couple of shots of a Great Blue Heron on a nest in the Cormorant rookery. Also a pair of Downy Woodpeckers working away in a tree.

Went up to Lair of the Bear the other day up Bear Creek looking for early migrants. It was dead quiet. Didn't see much of anything. While checking a tree where Mountain Bluebirds have nested in the past I spied this hind quarters of a dead mouse hanging out of their hole. I'd bet it's an owl cache. Been reports of an owl up there, but I forget what kind.

Finally, I was up in Indian Creek Canyon down in Douglas County yesterday looking for some reported Three-toed Woodpeckers. As usual, the wind was howling and didn't see much. I did come upon this early Swallowtail butterfly fighting the wind down low on the ground.

Hopefully I'll come across some good migrants soon.