Sunday, August 24, 2014

Successful field trip to Red Canyon Park: Gray Flycatchers, Pinyon Jays, Juniper Titmouse and more

I led a very productive field trip to Red Canyon Park yesterday with 11 participants from Broomfield, Denver, Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs, Salida and Canon City. I refound the Gray Flycatcher family I have been following for the past 2 weeks and everyone got excellent views of them and heard their frequent contact calls. The juvenile in the photo above was one of the young from that family--the buffy wing bars that are a field marks for juvenal plumage show well in this photo. In addition to these Gray Flycatchers, we saw a couple of more individuals plus another family that foraged nearby as we had lunch and provided views of a parent feeding a fledgling.
Other target species for the pinyon-juniper habitat in this park that were seen were several Pinyon Jays (heard well by all participants then seen in flight), Juniper Titmouse (2 birds with fairly close views for all), Virginia Warbler (several birds), several Western Shrub Jays and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Other flycatcher species included an Olive-sided, Western Wood-Pewee and at least one empid spp. Hummers included both Broad-tailed and Black-chinned with one flying right up to the group as if to say 'did you bring me anything.' We had very good fairly close views of 2 Canyon Wrens who sang repeatedly at a close distance. We did have several singing Plumbeous Vireos and Bewick's Wrens but no visual views of them. Also saw a Golden Eagle soaring, an accipiter and a few Turkey Vultures, 1 Loggerhead Shrike, several Black-headed Grosbeak, Canyon & Spotted Towhees, many Chipping Sparrows, a lot of Lesser Goldfinch and a few other species common in the state. We did not find any of the Evening Grosbeaks I had seen earlier this week nor any Western Tanagers. SeEtta