Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Below the Dam at Lake Estes

After arriving in Estes Park on Wednesday evening I was greeted by my Brother-in-law with the news that he had seen an Ibis below the dam, while leading his students to a tour at a water treatment facility. Having not yet tracked down an Ibis, I decided to start my day there the following morning. Jack Frost had been busy with some late season work on the thickets along the Thompson River that night. When I arrived everything that wasn't buried in deep snow was covered in frosty crystals. I was casting about, and had headed upstream towards the dam without finding much other than the Chipping Sparrows (above) and a few other Red-winged Blackbirds. I was beginning to think that I would have to fight the glare and head downstream when my target exploded from a clump of brush off to my right:

I was treated to this White-faced Ibis taking off and making a circuit above me, before heading out of sight above the dam. Filled with the excitement of having seen a life bird on my first excursion I started wandering back down stream, and took a few minutes to watch this Brewer's Blackbird in what had to be a cold bath.

It didn't dawdle, and was off for a drier perch quickly.

After an hour or so I was back in the 4runner, and headed for breakfast with my family who had been warm and toasty in their beds. As I left the area I was able to enjoy one last opportunity in the bright light before the clouds settled back in, a Tree Swallow sunning itself on a fence, it was unusually tolerant and let me pull along side and take all the pictures I wanted.

Updated Counts: (Found a couple more F.O.Y species while looking closely at pics)
2010 Count: 143
Lifetime: 218

No comments:

Post a Comment