Friday, December 10, 2010

Roxborough State Park

Our bizarre mild December continues here in Colorado, making it tough to process that the holidays are nearly upon us. I fear that Colorado is not going to give me a preparatory cold snap before I head to Minnesota at the end of the month.

On the bright side though, walking around in a t-shirt and light jacket last Wednesday wasn't bad at all. I spent a few hours in almost perfect solitude on the South Rim Trail at Roxborough State Park. It was one of those days where the air wasn't stirring a bit, and the silence was palpable. I would hear animals and birds moving on the ground or through the branches from dozens of yards away. The Western Scrub Jays (top) and Spotted Towhees (not pictured), were generally stationary and I would pass groups or individuals as I walked. Chickadees, both Black-capped (above) and Mountain (below), were moving about - with mixed flocks moving past at times. They would all gather around to get a look as they flew from branch to branch, responding to my very quiet pishing. Twice, they were joined by Downy Woodpeckers (two below) - who seemed to associate more with the Mountain Chickadees than the Black-capped ones.

Roxborough didn't produce those great Gray Foxes, as it did during my last visit. Even so it continues to grow on me. Wednesday was great for reflection, while getting in a bit of exercise. For a few weeks now I've been chewing on the question of how far my birding skills have progressed. Along those lines I had a great opportunity to wrap my mind around ways to improve one's birding skills. I had some thoughts...but am curious about what others think. If there was a single tip you could give to a beginning or novice birder, what would it be. Feel free to comment or email, I would like to see if my thoughts are in-line with those of others.

I haven't had the lens or lighting to show off the rock formations of the park on my visits to date. To set the scene think of a more intimate Red Rocks or Garden of the Gods if you are familiar with those types of rock formations. The view that I had from the crest of the South Rim ridge moving counter-clockwise around the loop was just great; it offers views north towards Long's Peak.

Hopefully I will get back on a day with better light to show off the impressive geology. A young Red-tailed Hawk was trying to make up for the overcast sky, and doing an admirable job.

Not a remarkable birding day, but a memorable one nonetheless. Nature offered an intimate look at some of its more subtle sights, and I am glad I was there to accept.

Still a couple more posts in the works from last weekend, and will be getting in some type of outdoor activity this weekend as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment