Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nostalgia and Anticipation

Another young Red-tail Hawk along South Boulder Creek. My employer's office is being relocated next week. Some of the folks who work here have been in the same location for close to ten years. For me the workplace location change isn't dramatic, I have only been with the company for five years, and a building is just a building. Plus, the new location is a bit closer to home - which is nice. What will be a difference for me are the locations of my midday walks, which provide a lot of the content for this blog. I am looking forward to more frequent visits to a few sites in that area, but will miss all my access to the abundance of open space in Boulder County. My plan had been to hit up one of my favorites each day this week, but weather and work being what they are I have only gotten pictures from Monday so far.

I had to hit up South Boulder Creek Trail, it has been a great place to walk over the past couple of years. Just across from Baseline reservoir, and with open space on either side of the wooded creek - this little stretch is one of my favorites. I wondered if this young Red-tail was the same as the one I had seen a few weeks ago. I doubt that it is, the markings don't seem an exact match, but this bird was my companion for much of the walk. It leapfrogged on my way to the far end of my walk. I was rushing along, because I had glimpsed a potential Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk beyond some trees, and was hoping to get closer to its perch in the distance than I had for the shot I took on a previous visit.

The bird vanished from its perch by the time I arrived near South Boulder Road, but caught a thermal in the leaden, storm-rolling-in sky as I returned to the parking lot.

Where it was later joined by the young hawk I had seen previously, (and even later by another adult to make a total of three hawks circling high into the sky). I know the shots are distant, but the birds emphasize that while colored differently, their shapes are much the same.

I am anticipating a whole bunch of new birding spots to explore, but have another bird topic that is equally exciting...

Today I registered for the 2011 Colorado Field Ornithologists convention. This year the site is Grand Junction, a dramatically different landscape and set of birds than what we have here on the Front Range in Colorado. I submitted my field trip requests and wonder what cool places I will get to explore this year. If you are in Colorado, and a birder of any level consider checking it out. The artwork above is the logo for this year's convention, it was created by R. Christopher Vest, For now though, more cold temps and at least clearing skies. Should be mild for the weekend, which will hopefully present opportunities for some foothills snowshoeing/birding.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the Red-tails! We have lots here and I especially enjoy them in summer as they soar over the high ridges.