Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dickcissel in Canon City


I have found this and another 9 or so male Dickcissel, and at least one male Bobolink, in several locations in the Canon City area. I had found one of each species about a month ago, which was in the usual time frame for them to be breeding in local hayfields, but could not refind any before I left on a 2 week out of state trip from which I returned just a few days ago. . In the past they tended to be in alfalfa hay fields but his year there are mostly grass hay fields in our area. Surprisingly several of these are in hay fields that have already had one cut. Even more surprising is two are in fields that are just tall weeds. The Bobolink and at least 2 Dickcissel are in the field that I have posted about in prior years on MacKenzie Ave halfway from H50 and Grandview Ave. Please be cautious as MacKenzie is a very busy thoroughfare with traffic going 40-50 mph. The safest viewing is possible by going further south on MacKenzie Ave to Adams Ave--turn off to the east on Adams and the Dickcissel are in the part of the hay field on the north side that has the alfalfa (becomes more grass and less alfalfa closer to the house down the road). As this is a dirt access road to just 2 families there is minimal traffic. I have talked to the people who live down the lane so they are aware that birders may come down it, just do not drive or walk into their field, stay on the public dirt road. Unfortunately the hay field at this location is going to be cut soon per the owners. SeEtta

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Cordilleran Flycather


This little flycatcher flew onto a snag in a tree just about 25 feet from where I was sitting in my car at Pueblo Mountain Park yesterday. He perched there for several minutes, calling a few times, which allowed me a good opportunity to photograph him from a reasonable distance.

These pics show nicely the description of this species from BeautyOfBirds.com: "Adults have an olive grey upper plumage that is darker on the wings and tail. The plumage below is yellowish. They have conspicuous white eye rings, white wing bars, a small bill and a short tail."

Not noted in above description but shown here are the elongated white eye rings. Cordilleran Flycatchers also have distinctive bright yellow mandibles which is also shown in these pics. While not as vital for identifying this species as it is with other empidonax species, it is still useful to note the moderately long primary projection. SeEtta

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