Thursday, November 14, 2013

Local Lewis's Woodpeckers


Just a couple of the nice close-ups I have gotten recently of some of the Lewis's Woodpeckers in my area. You can click on these photos to enlarge them even further for super close-up views and they will remain sharp . SeEtta

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Unusually large group of Red-breasted Mergansers at Brush Hollow Reservoir


Yesterday I found 16 Red-breasted Mergansers at Brush Hollow Reservoir which is about 15 miles from where I live. Compared to many reservoirs in southern Colorado this is a fairly small body of water; however there are very few lakes or ponds in my county and it is the largest of them.

We don't get Red-breasted Mergansers often in my area and this is an unusually large number for us. In addition to these mergansers there were a number of other common waterfowl including a nice raft of about 20 Redheaded Ducks. I also had a small flock of Bushtits work their way past me in the junipers on the hill above the reservoir where I was parked.

Since boats are allowed and most are motorized it is difficult for waterfowl to get any rest on this man-made reservoir. Not long after I got there a motorboat put in and the these mergansers were moved around the reservoir. I checked there today on my way to Pueblo and didn't see any mergansers. SeEtta

Monday, November 11, 2013

Harlan's Hawk, first in Canon City this season


. Yesterday I spotted what looked like a Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree in the Canon City area. It was one of the most skittish hawks I have photographed--I stayed in my car the entire time as I try very hard not to flush hawks but it still flushed when I took photos from several hundred feet away/

After I gave up looking for it I was driving back home when I ran into the same hawk again as it soared in large circles so I was able to get the photo at the top. I followed it in my car and it came down to perch for a short time so I got the bottom two pics.

I believe this is an Intermediate morph Harlan's as described by Wheeler in Raptors of Western North America. It is very blackish, the auriculars are white and so is it's forehead, it has whitish streaks on it's throat, it's breast has streaks of white but more black, the rest of it's underparts are black with white speckling and smaller streaks, remiges are barred, tail is barred with black sub-terminal band and rufous only showing on upper tail. SeEtta