Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mountain Chickadees already moved down to lower elevation


I found a couple of Mountain Chickadees at Brush Hollow Reservoir yesterday a location that is 25-30 miles from the foothills. I had spotted a single Mountain Chickadee on the Canon City Riverwalk last week but since this is only about 5 miles from the foothills a stray Mountain Chickadee sometimes comes down early but with those at Brush Hollow there may be an early plains invasion of this species. I found the one in these photos feeding on larva that is inside of most of the leaves in the cottonwood trees around my area in the fall. I looked that up two years ago when I first noticed this with warblers feeding like this and found that leafminers are insects that feed inside of leaves and that they produce large 'blotches' that are irregularly round.


There were a lot of Yellow-rumped Warblers in the trees around the reservoir at this location as well as the first Orange-crowned Warblers, a group of 3 moving together, I have seen in migration this fall. Also many Pine Siskins were foraging here. SeEtta

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Large flock of White-throated Swifts feeding in Royal Gorge Canyon

Over the week-end I did some birding at the Royal Gorge Park (not the for-pay now amusement park but the free and not-yet developed park owned by the City of Canon City). One can get to the edge of the Royal Gorge Canyon which is breathtaking and not uncommonly flown by White-throated Swifts.
There was a fairly good sized flock of White-throated Swifts that were in a feeding frenzy--one came so close past me, only a few feet, that I reflexively pulled my outstretched camera back close to my body.
As can be seen by the pic just above this is a very scenic backdrop for watching these aerobatic swifts.
The pic just above shows about 20 of the flock that totaled more than 50 birds, evidently a migrating flock that had stopped over to feed. SeEtta

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Large flock of Cedar Waxwings

In addition to migrating landbirds I found a large flock of Cedar Waxwings this past week along the Arkansas River in Canon City. There are more than 25 in this photo and about twice that many in total in the tree. SeEtta

Landbird migration strong through south central Colorado

Landbird migration has been pretty good this past week. Birds like the Blue Grosbeak above and the House Wren(s) I saw today were few but I have seen well over a hundred Wilson's Warblers with the largest number just over a week ago. Surprised I am still seeing Western Tanagers as so many had moved through during the first half of the month-but I saw about 10 tonight in just two trees (that were above a lot of wild grapes) by the Arkansas River. SeEtta