Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stearn's Lake Saturday Morning

I was out before the sun on Saturday morning, and took the opportunity to visit Stearn's Lake at the southern edge of Boulder county. Readers of this blog will know that this was a spot I visited frequently when my office was located in Louisville and it was a brief turn from my daily drive. On my visit Saturday I stood in the company of a pair of Bald Eagles waiting for the sun to clear a ridge. Turning to the east, a distant post caught my eye...

My interest was peaked, and I did some backtracking to try an approach from another direction. My effort was rewarded, my route took me out of view of the post, and when I had reached a new vantage point it was bare.

To my delight, the bird had relocated to the small tree that had been blocking my view, and had multiplied! I took a few shots, and then dragged myself away to let them settle in for the day.

I looped out to the south, and returned along the edge of a pumpkin field, (they're getting close), as I walked I had some Vesper Sparrows to keep me company, showing off their seasonal colors in the post-dawn light. As I walked I was teased with unphotographed views of at least one Cooper's Hawk. I never got a satisfactory shot of it (them), but did get a nice distant shot of a Northern Harrier skimming the cattails on the far side of the lake. They are so distinctive when seen hunting mere feet above a marsh or field, the white rump, and facial disk were both visible in this shot.

I checked on the owls as I returned to the parking are from a distance and they were still visible. I'll take the opportunity to post one more of their previous shots, they were a real highlight to an enjoyable weekend start.

I hope that yours was just as beautiful, wherever you found yourself yesterday.


  1. Dave, wow, what a nice walk! Love the photography and your story.

    I used to live in Longmont for 6 years and was a volunteer naturalist with Boulder County Parks and Open Spaces back in the early 90's! While I have never been to Stern's lake, I have been to Rabbit Mountain, Walden Ponds, Golden Ponds, the ST. Vrain Greenway, and others. I especially like Laggerman's Resevoir. I used to see black-crowned Night herons there. I love the Rocky Mountain west and really miss it a lot!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Thanks for the comments Kathie! I came to Colorado in the mid 90s for school and have never left, (other than as many vacations as I can manage of course!). Glad to know you have seen a few familiar locales in the blog. I grew up in Minnesota, and love to visit some of my old stomping grounds vicariously through blogs of birders in the area. Feel free to stop by any time you get a yearning for the Front Range area.

  3. I love the owls, Dave!