Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gregory Canyon - Round 2

I set the alarm for 4:30 this morning, and let the Robin ruckus outside my window drag me out of bed. Just so I could have another shot at seeing the Scarlet Tanager that many have reported along the Gregory Canyon trail in Boulder. So far, the reported sightings have been in the early morning hours, and since my previous attempt had been in the evening I have been looking for an opportunity.
Somehow what I missed in the forecasts of improving weather for today was that the morning was going to remain socked in under a heavy fog cloud layer. It made for poor photography, but birding in an "Endor" like canyon with few others around was still so worth it.
The first bird I put bins to was a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. A bird I have seen in the past, but another lifer since I began building my list. That made the rest of my climb to the area of the Tanager sightings easy! Unfortunately no pictures due to the low light.

Later I did try a few frames of a Broad-tailed Hummingbird at my feet. The gloom was just a bit to much. Unfortunately round two was just as unsuccessful in tracking down the Scarlet Tanager as Round 1 had been. I was standing there when a hiker came by. He said, "have you seen it?" "Not yet", was my reply. "Well it's here" he continued, "I just saw it on my last hike". I confirmed with him that it was not either further up or down the trail, but right were I was watching, but still no sightings. So even the non-birders are getting good looks at this eye popping out-of-towner, but I will have to persevere. At the very least I am getting good exercise and beautiful walks in a place I enjoy.

I also noted on this walk just how much our recent rainy weather has pushed the vegetation along. The bottom of the trail has been seriously encroached upon by grasses, overhanging limbs, and a good section of poison ivy. I hope all those trail runners are watching where they place their feet. Perhaps the clouds made the S.T. sleep in, and the three or four birders I saw headed up the trail as I returned had better luck than I.
2009 Count: 153
Lifetime: 166

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