Friday, May 13, 2011

Falling Farther Behind!

Note to self: If you go on a trip and take thousands of photographs in the beginning of May don't expect to process through them anytime soon.

Note to readers: I now have a list of selected photos from the first two days of my trip to be cropped/processed. Two additional days, and some cropping and I'll be ready to post! In the meantime migration is too good not to be out in, and the images keep piling up. On Wednesday I realized that I would reach my anniversary at work over the weekend, and had a half day of vacation that would have burned, so Thursday morning, was a cold, rainy, snowy day...with some great birds.

A Fox Sparrow seems to have taken the place of some of the unusual wintering sparrows at the Red Rocks Trading Post, so my first stop was to check on the feeders there. I quickly located the Fox Sparrow as it occasionally emerged from the bushes on the far side of the garden. This was a bird I was glad to photograph. I had mis-identified one back in 2009 in the blog (an obvious Song Sparrow). I corrected the entry, but the keyword remained like a scarlet letter on the right side of my page. Ha. Anyways, it is good to actually add the species to the blog.

The Fox Sparrow may have been the main draw, but other birds quickly stole the show. Two Black-headed Grosbeaks mingled with the many Spotted Towhees, showing their similar color schemes.

I also hit the jackpot on Lazuli Buntings. I placed my count from early in the morning at 30. They were everywhere! Eight to ten would feed in a group, while other clusters would circulate into the trees.

Even soaking wet these guys are colorful. The large numbers of birds even attracted a Sharp-shinned Hawk to make a pass. It was unsuccessful, and only captured as an image of a faint dot disappearing in the clouds. Even so, cool to see 50 or sixty birds scatter all at once.

After over an hour at the site I decided I would head uphill and get a bit of my precipitation in solid form (almost 2.5 inches of slow steady rain in the high plains of Colorado was welcome, but tiring - we like our sunshine!). I feel that this Ruby-crowned Kinglet was really trying to show off his color against all that white. It worked! The rest of my visit to Golden Gate Canyon State Park was uneventful, two Mallards, a flicker, and a Lincoln's Sparrow completed my list.

So the backlog remains, but I'll deal with it someday! Next week ends with a trip to Grand Junction for the CFO convention. That should ensure that the backlog carries me well into June! As of now my counts stand at:

2011 Count: 159
Lifetime: 268

1 comment:

  1. I'm fascinated by those Buntings! I've never seen them before.