Dedicated to the enjoyment and conservation of birds and nature.
Rare visitors, a pair of Trumpeter Swans
It has been over a decade since Trumpeter Swans visited my county in So Colorado so it was most enjoyable to see this pair at Brush Hollow Reservoir. (to see the rest of the write up and 4 more photos click on Read More below to open the full blog post)
And it was sweet to get to watch and photograph when one of them stretched it's 8 foot+ wingspan, how magnificent.
The pic above shows some of the field marks for Trumpeter versus other species of swans as noted in the Trumpeter Swan Society web page: "The bill is heavy in proportion to head with a straight profile. Angular head shape somewhat resembling canvasback duck. Eye not distinct from bill."
And the pic below shows the red border on the lower mandible and without the yellow spot in front of the eyes as found on Tundra Swans (which can sometimes have a red border on the lower mandible per the Trumpeter Swan Society website).
Note that I deferred blogging about these swans until they had left as they were very vulnerable on the fairly small Brush Hollow Reservoir which is rarely patrolled (and noted by many articles about these swans being found shot and a post about it). They were first sighted there on January 23 and the last time I saw them was March 2, a stay of over of 5 weeks. SeEtta
There are two birds in this photo. Can you see them? Can you identify them?
Click on 'Read more' to find out.
Two Common Pauraques, a neotropical bird species whose cryptic plumage makes it very well camouflaged. They are only found in the U.S. in southern parts of Texas with the highest numbers found in the Rio Grande Valley. Even so it is very unusual to find two of them roosting near each other and especially both the gray and brown…
Canon City is a marginal area for Dickcissels with usually no more than 6 or 8 singing males so I was pleasantly surprised to find a total of more than a dozen today. And I found them in several agricultural fields where they have not been reported before.
Additionally I found 2 singing male Dickcissels in the hay field where I found the first of this species for Fremont County,CO 15 or more years ago but where they have not been found for some years--while it is still a hay field it has been purchased by our local Recreation District for future sports fields and is part of Pathfinder Park.
The pic above is interesting with the crown feathers standing straight out making a head piece for this bird. SeEtta
This map shows locations of Dickcissels viewable from public roads.
As I was walking on the Canon City Riverwalk close to 8 pm tonight my dog Chase alerted that he heard something in the vegetation just off the trail. Thinking it was maybe a squirrel or even a racoon--surprise, when I looked I was a little confused as I thought it was a bear but it looked like it had a blond overcoat on. This is the first 'blond' black bear I have seen (they do come in a number of colors).
As it sunk it that I was only about 25-30 feet away from the bear (it was behind trees as shown in last pic) I got a few pics (this is what happens when I leave my camera in the car, these are cellphone pics) and started to walk away. As I did the bear started to come out from behind the trees which concerned me so I walked backwards so I could watch it. It kept looking a me as I looked it. When it came further I ordered (in a gruff voice as I would a dog) "Bear, you stay there." Fortunately as it came it further it became clear it just wanted to go the oth…