Saturday, April 19, 2014

Avocets and Western Grebes, stop-over at Brush Hollow Reservoir

The small snowstorm that hit the Canon City area on Wednesday brought in some migrating American Avocets and Western Grebes for a stop-over at Brush Hollow Reservoir.
Missing were the several hundred Franklin's Gulls that came in with the snowstorm last Sunday. SeEtta

White-throated Swifts: video of hundreds foraging

Here is a video that shows some of the several hundred White-throated Swifts I spotted foraging over the Blue Heron ponds just east of Florence, CO. SeEtta

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Migrating flock of more than 200 White-throated Swifts stop over to forage

This morning I stopped to check out the Blue Heron Ponds just east of Florence to see if any migrating birds were there. Soon I spotted a number of White-throated Swifts flying above the ponds, then more, then more---until well over 200 swifts came swooshing above as they consumed insects on the fly. The top photo has been severely cropped to provide a closer-up view of a few of the swifts.

I have previously observed White-throated Swifts stopping over in this area but never this large a number. There is a series of ponds in this location that are adjacent to the Arkansas River and the flock would feed for awhile over one of the ponds then rapidly move to another pond.

I watched this very large flock for more than 20 minutes as they foraged back and forth from one pond to the next. It was interesting to hear what I think was the sound of the wings when there were a large number overhead. I have some video that I will process and upload to my blog tomorrow. SeEtta

American Pipit foraging with dark ibis and Greater Yellowlegs

While looking at the Glossy Ibis foraging in a flooded field in Florence on Monday I spotted this little American Pipit working the edges of the flooded area. SeEtta

Flock of migrating Wilson's Snipe

Yesterday as I drove down MacKenzie Avenue I looked into a agricultural field that was partially flooded and saw some small objects. I turned around and returned to where I could look at them safely on this busy road and found some Wilson's Snipe foraging there. As I continued checking out that field with my scope I counted a total of 12 Wilson's Snipe, a species that does migrate in flocks. Below is a heavily cropped section that shows 3 of the birds closer up. SeEtta

Monday, April 14, 2014

Yellow-rumped Warblers foraging in major snow storm

The snow began falling yesterday afternoon and finally sticking to grassy areas and trees a few hours later. By the time I photographed these Yellow-rumped Warblers there was over an inch on most trees branches and the snow was still coming down in big flakes. The small group of 4-5 Yellow-rumped Warblers foraged actively in these tree branches that overhung water and must have had some continuing insect activity. Aw, spring in the Rockies. SeEtta

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Glossy Ibis, rarish visitor to Colorado

Today I found a small flock of about 25 White-faced Ibis, first of the year birds here, in a flooded agricultural field in Florence. I always check each dark ibis to look for the rarish Glossy Ibis, more likely found in eastern U.S., which I usually find in large flocks of around a hundred or so. Surprise, I found not just first of the year White-faced but Glossy Ibis.

These photos show the bluish bare skin on it's face which are arranged as lines above and below the eye, and not going around the eye as with the bare skin on White-faced Ibis.

Though the third photo just above is not as sharp, it is good for showing the difference in facial features of Glossy and White-faced Ibis right next to each other.

The forth photo also shows the difference in these species though in a different perspective as they are loafing with heads resting on backs.

The bottom pic shows the flock feeding in the flooded agricultural field. SeEtta

Evening Grosbeak, Black Phoebes and Franklin's Gulls in Canon City

Thursday I found first this single Evening Grosbeak in Canon City-it was across the river from the Canon City Riverwalk so a long shot as about 300 feet away. As I walked along the bluff trail I found a flock of about 25 Evening Grosbeak in the trees near the top of the bluff-they had likely been visiting feeders just a few blocks over from where I live. I also found a Black Phoebe on the other side of the river from the Riverwalk about a mile east of the Sell's Lake trailhead and think I heard a second Black Phoebe calling in that area. Can't be sure if this is a different Black Phoebe than the one I found a few hundred feet east of the 9th Street bridge just over a week ago especially since I refound a Black Phoebe in that area Friday evening.
Friday evening as I sat on my deck I heard the distinctive calls of Franklin's Gulls--I spotted a flock of about 50 including those in this pic flying around on the south side of Canon City as they moved through during migration. SeEtta