Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunny Morning Walk

This morning was another great day to get an early start. They all should be, but the knowledge that someone will be augering post holes in your backyard around seven am is great encouragement to give up that extra bit of sleep. The Western Meadowlark had no second thoughts about the early start. Do you think he appreciates the color scheme of his perch?

Actually the first bird that I saw this morning as I parked at the Cowdrey Draw trailhead in Boulder County was this Red-tailed Hawk. Horrible picture I know, but an incident with my car alarm had him skittish before I was even out the door. Check the blurry tail feathers though - it is a juvenile who is transitioning to adult plumage. The tail feather molt begins in the middle, and alternates outward. I like the comparison of the light, barred, juvenile feathers on the outer tail with the dark red of the adult feathers and their contrasty white terminal band. A nice sight any day.

I dropped through the cow pasture to the old railroad grade from the area's mining days. Most of the drainage has dried out now, but there were a group of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers moving around in the shrubs and willows.

Of course, as now seems to always be the case, once I have seen a species for a first time it frequently reappears shortly thereafter. It almost seems like they want me to reaffirm my newly acquired identification in the field by giving me a second look. Whatever the reason I like it!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice photos..the Gnatcatcher photo is awesome..and love the meadowlark in the sunflowers! happy birding!