Thursday, August 2, 2012

Up the Mountains

When I was a youngster living outside Philadelphia - we went "down the shore" so I guess now that I live in Colorado - we go "up the mountains." It's a beautiful day - but still warm, so we decided to do a little birding with altitude.

Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Juncos are common among the pines in the mountains.

Mountain Chickadee
 We have two types of chickadees: Mountain Chickadees and Black-capped Chickadees. The Mt. Chickadee has a dark line through his eye.

Mountain Chickadee
 Rampart Range Road is still closed because of the Waldo Canyon Fire, so we went to Woodland Park and over to Farish, the recreation area of the Air Force Academy.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
 The store and registration station had an empty hummingbird feeder hanging on their porch. Lots of little birds were stopping by - but left disappointed, so I told the man on duty and he filled it - much to the delight of the birds. He said they have to fill it 3 or 4 times a day and that this time of year they go through 20 pounds of sugar a week!!

The next three pictures were taken in a beautiful meadow near a pond. There were hummingbirds and wildflowers everywhere!

Lark Sparrow
 Bill spotted this Lark Sparrow along the trail.

Steller's Jay
 We've seen Steller's Jays before - but I've never been able to get a good picture. I told Bill this was my goal for the day - and he came through for me! Don't you love his top-notch!

Steller's Jay

Black birds are boring, but this guy was huge! Ravens look like really big crows - with more thickness in their bill.

We had a nice ride but wanted to get back down Route 24 before the afternoon thunderstorms that have been causing severe mud slides. Route 24 has been closed almost daily. Even a small amount of rain on the Waldo burn scare is causing major flooding. It just started raining and, sure enough, the emergency scroll is again running along the bottom of the TV screen.

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