Thursday, May 12, 2016


I found the 4 Eastern Kingbirds shown on this fence plus 2 more further down this same fenceline yesterday at a farm in the Canon City area. It really made me wonder if it was just some amazing coincidence that *6 Eastern Kingbirds* would end up on less than a hundred feet of fence on this farm at the same--or could they have traveled together as they migrated north??????????????????????

Sunday, May 8, 2016

W Tanager, Lazuli Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak, Cedar Waxwings-colorful migrants


Both the Western Tanager and Lazuli Bunting are first of the year birds in Canon City (tho I saw W Tanager on S Padre Island 2 weeks ago so not my first of the year). I spotted 4-5 male Western Tanagers in a one mile walk on the Canon City Riverwalk.

Heard a lot more Lazuli Buntings than observed--just this one observed, heard at least 4-5 others singing. This Black-headed Grosbeak had been singing up a storm as were several more of his species today and in the past few days.

At least a dozen Cedar Waxwings were in the feeding on fruit of hackberry trees and on tender new buds in other trees in Veteran's Park. I also spotted a first of the year for Canon City male Rose-breasted Grosbeak on the tip top of a 60+ ft tall cottonwood so no pics, and likely a female but too many branches and leaves in that distance to be sure. And I spotted a first of the year for Canon City male Bullock's Oriole but in top of tall tree so no pic for him either. SeEtta

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Black-chinned Hummingbird on partially completed nest

This hummingbird was spotted yesterday on a Forest Service/Arkansas Valley Audubon Society field trip to the Canon City Riverwalk. She is sitting on her partially completed nest in the pics. The nest is 25-30 feet above a parking lot for the Riverwalk trail system.B
The pic below is the original photo that I cropped heavily to produce the pic just above. SeEtta

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Red-headed Woodpecker I found today on Canon City, CO Riverwalk

Back home now and I found this Red-headed Woodpecker on our Riverwalk. This is a rare bird for this county with only one prior record of this species here.
This species provides nice opportunities for in flight pics when they sally out to catch a flying insect. SeEtta

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Least Bittern and one of it's chicks at SPI

This was one of the highlights of my visit as was so neat to see a Least Bittern chick. While I actually have seen one, and even photographed it, once and here in Colorado it was not the best view. It is always challenging to observe and especially photograph these little guys as they are surrounding by reeds.
I also got to see one of the parents when it was out likely hunting for food for the chicks (there were 3 reported). SeEtta

A few more SPI migrants-- Scarlet Tanager & Acadian Flycatcher

These two Scarlet Tanager pics are of one bird that arrived at the South Padre Island Convention Center gardens while the Big Sit was in progress. These are such brilliantly colored birds they are always a hit.
This Acadian Flycatcher was at the South Padre Island Land Fund site. SeEtta

Series of Cape May Warbler pics, including a fight scene

I participated in the South Padre Island Convention Center Big Sit, my first. One of the neat things during the 7 hours I stayed there (Scarlet Colley, who organized the Big Sit, and Elizabeth Cavazos, were there for 15 hours) was this Cape May Warbler. Not only was this a lifer for me but this bird was apparently very, very hungry as it returned again and again and again for hours to feast on the orange halves provided for migrants during not just the Big Sit but all spring migration.
Don't know if it was an unusually aggressive or territorial warbler, or just starving so not wanting other warblers sharing the oranges but it fought with every other warbler that came near. This second shot shows the Cape May in a brief battle with a Tennessee Warbler. This also offers a difficult to see view of it's white wing coverts opened fully, as well as it's yellow rump.
So I got observe this bird off and on for hours, and I got a number of pics of the bird.
Interestingly the birders frequenting South Padre Island report that this Cape May stayed in the gardens at the Convention Center for about a week, and it continued to feed on the oranges. Since South Padre Island is a barier island and the first landfall for migrating birds coming the long way across the Gulf of Mexico it stands to reason that some number of these birds would be extremely hungry as well as in need of the shelter from the trees that have been planted for them at this location. SeEtta

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gray-cheeked Thrush and Red-eyed Vireo at South Padre Island


Though not as colorful as some of the migrating birds, Gray-cheeked Thrush is a real treat for most of us since they nest in Alaska and arctic areas of Canada.

I have seen this species at least once in far southeastern Lamar, Colorado but not such good looks as here. This one was actually cooperative, out in the open.
While some more eastern folks are fortunate to have Red-eyed Vireos breeding in their area many of us see them mostly on migration.
We actually get this species in the spring in my town in south central Colorado but I usually see them from underneath as they sing from a tree above me so I enjoyed getting a number of good pics of this one. SeEtta