Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, flock of more than a hundred

Yesterday I drove up to Westcliffe in hopes that the snow there the day before had kept the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches that Jane Pederson had been nice enough to report had been seen on their CBC Sunday at the St Andrew Golf Course just outside of town. As she noted it is unusual to see this species on the floor of the Wet Mountain Valley as this is called as they are usually found at higher altitude (related to having snow on the ground which is what I hoped kept them at this lower elevation, albeit almost 8,000 ft in this high mountain valley).
As can clearly be seen that flock of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches was still there and I got a lot of pics of them though few reasonably good close-ups (though using 50X+ magnification and cropping a few that allowed that to get more magnification) as these birds rarely sit still-either moving along as they feed or flushing as a flock and flying hundreds of yards away and back every few minutes. SeEtta
Nevertheless this good sized flock of well over a hundred birds was most impressive especially as it has been some years since I have seen any Rosy-Finches.

The pic below is illustrative of the other problem in photographing these birds as they most often landed in grassy areas where they virtually disappeared in the stubble.