We had a warm, sunny day at Montrose Point. Beautiful conditions. We arrived at a non-peak time, we usually do. Very many starlings, House Sparrows, and female R-W Blackbirds were out. We did see one male, possibly young, R-W Blackbird as well. On the way in we saw four Double-crested Cormorants on a street lamp by the harbor.
Visiting home and these nice House Finches were at the bird feeder. (The House Finches were really hard to photograph in Colorado; here they just pose.) There were also Black-capped Chickadees, a pair of Mourning Doves, and Northern Cardinals at the feeder. Out back there were some House Wrens and we spotted a Ruby-throated Hummingbird as well.
We visited this trail last year too; starting from the Ethel Harrold Trailhead. It is pretty steep and on the way out you are going down into the valley toward the falls. Means we had to leave plenty of time and energy for the return trip. We did not get all the way to the falls themselves. Starting elevation was about 6,900ft and the bottom about 6,560ft.
Pretty good bird sightings; few photos turned out well though. I now forget, but I think we also saw a Bald Eagle circling around on this day on the way to our hike.
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)
This was a wonderful hike for us. Mostly an easy slope up on the way out, making getting back to the car a nice low-difficulty proposition. Lovely surroundings, though the creek was entirely dried up except for one very small stretch. We went approximately one and a quarter miles out and gained about 500 feet of altitude (from 8,200 to 8,692 ft according to this topographical map.)
We saw and heard many more birds than we were able to get photos of. Lesser Goldfinches and Mountain Chickadees were seen near the starting point and heard, particularly the chickadees, for about half of the hike. We only have one bird picture from this that is at all decent – the Northern Flicker (red-shafted), of which there were a nesting pair in a tree not far off the trail. We could not find the nest, but the chicks were loud when a parent was nearby.
The first photo of the Say’s Phoebe was from Viele Lake near where we stayed. The remainder of the photos are from a hike starting at NCAR – the National Center for Atmospheric Research – and getting us just beyond where the Mesa Trail meets the NCAR trail.
Hot day and a lot of the time there was no shade to be had. Clouds came in late, largely after we were done walking around the lake. The same place we were able to photograph the cowbird we also saw a Yellow Warbler. Really tried to get a photo, but to no avail. The photos of the hawk and kestrel were after the walk, seen early on our way to Longmont.
Went for a bike ride on the red bicycles for rent. The first Great Blue Heron was at the intersection of Arapahoe Ave and Foothills Pkwy. Nice, hot, day; somewhat hurried to return the bikes before the next billing day.