Friday, May 28, 2010

Singletree Trail - Superior - Boulder County

Perhaps a couple of the readers who drop by this blog may recall that on a wintry day last December I 'discovered' a new stretch of trail just south of Coal Creek, near Superior, Colorado. The trail appealed to me largely because of a close proximity Coyote sighting, but had a low brush patch that promised even better rewards when the migrants returned. Well, for the past three days I have kept returning to see what goodies I could find. Wednesday started off well, with Blue Grosbeaks popping up to fence posts before I had even reached the brush a few yards down the trail. Unfortunately, I learned that even with a dSLR, it is possible to shoot an entire session without having a memory card present. That is what happens when great birds start showing up before you are ready to shoot...and don't slow down to let you check your settings until your half hour is up and you are leaving. "DOH!"

Needless to say, I was back Thursday afternoon and this morning to make amends. If Wednesday was the day of the Blue Grosbeak, and yesterday featured Western Kingbirds, then this morning was all about the Yellow-breasted Chats. Not that they were the only birds around, but this was the first time I had a chance to see and hear them vocalising, and putting on flight displays.

I checked back to see my previous shots of Blue Grosbeaks, and see that I am ahead of last year, when I saw them on June 1st. I am sorry that the shot above, from this morning, is so distant. I am sure the shots I took Wednesday that didn't end up on a card were spectacular! Even so, I think that the shot below, from yesterday, shows an even younger, or just more brown juvenile Blue Grosbeak than the one I posted last summer. I am not sure if they gain blue over time or if all juv. Blue Grosbeaks just show different amounts of blue until they reach adulthood.

There was another bird that I had been kicking myself about since Wednesday. It was small, yellow, and secretive - and I thought that I may have gotten just enough of it in frame to be sure of an identity. Thursday it did not appear, but this morning my persistence paid off.

A female Yellow Warbler.

She is not as bright as her male counterpart, and from what I can tell less likely to perch outside of the thickest of vegetation. However, these dried nettle heads were worth emerging for.

I wasn't certain if she was pulling plant material for nest building, or using a spider's snare as an opportunity for an easy snack. Either way I am glad she decided to stay out in the open for a bit.
Have a safe and birdy holiday weekend. If you are in the United States, or even if you are not, take a moment as the summer activities kick off to remember all of those people who have given their lives to establish and protect our society and freedoms. If it weren't for them luxuries like birding and photography wouldn't be possible. Then find a kid, tell them, and then take them out to find some cool birds!
2010 Count: 175
Lifetime: 229


  1. Beautiful pictures. I have never seen a Blue Grosbeak. Saturday I spent 14 hours birding with five expert birders. I had the low count of 108 species for the day. It was the best day I have ever had.