Monday, October 4, 2010

Chatfield State Park at Daybreak

Occasionally my work requires me to be a different office, one that is conveniently close to Chatfield State Park. Driving from the northern edge of the Denver metro area to the southern at rush hour is not my idea of fun, so I started early on Friday and spent an hour at Chatfield State Park as the sun rose. I particularly wanted to work a bit with a different auto focus setting to see if I could get better results than I had with the Pipit. Before the sun had even risen the Osprey were hard at work, keeping the fish population in check.

For flight shot practice there may be no species better than gulls. They are inquisitive and predictable, often flying loops along the same stretch of shoreline. I was able to get a couple of passable shots, and confirmed that I am going to have to study up on gulls before the coming winter.

These were far from great, but a really good way to start a work day. Making my way back to my truck I headed away from the lake and followed a road, dividing areas of mowed lawn and native grasses. A Townsend's Solitaire posed on its perch in the early light, soaking up the soft colors.

Only a few minutes later the colors were getting brighter as I stopped to watch a bunch of Yellow-rumped Warblers doing their constant motion thing.

After work my plan was to return to Chatfield immediately and spend another few hours walking and birding rather than adding to the traffic congestion. As I headed back I saw a sign that indicated Chatfield and Roxborough State Parks were accessible from the same exit. With nothing to do but kill time I had to go for the different venue. It is one that I have certainly heard of, but really enjoyed getting to visit for a few hours. I would have enjoyed the visit if only for the red rock formations, scrub oak covered trails in all shades of fall color, and birds; but then there were the foxes who totally stole the show....

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