Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day Walk at Fountain Creek

It was an absolutely beautiful morning for a walk at Fountain Creek Nature Center. The sky was clear and the sun was warming the crisp morning temperatures.

Colorado Springs has had a difficult week with a couple of devastating wild fires. One of our major tourist attractions, the Royal Gorge Bridge Park was leveled - but the famous bridge remains intact with only slight damage. Black Forest lost almost 500 homes to the worst wildfire in Colorado Springs' history - but today the television stations have stopped their 24/7 coverage, the fire is mostly under control, and life goes on.

There seem to be more butterflies this year than we've seen in past years - and they are beautiful.

This Hairy Woodpecker was close to the start of the trail looking for breakfast.

The Swallows are plentiful. Can you see the little mouth looking for food?

What a nice Father's Day sighting! The baby Robin was out of the nest but papa was still bringing food.

...and the baby was most appreciative! Thanks Dad!

Our first Bullock's oriole of the season.

A Black-headed Grosbeak is always nice to see. We were serenaded by the many Yellow Warblers flitting in the tree tops, but they weren't in the mood for pictures today.

The twins were out having a drink...

...while mamma duck stayed close by.

As we headed back this beautiful Red-tailed Hawk flew overhead. The skies are beginning to darken and we are all hoping for rain - even thought it will bring the Father's Day barbecue indoors.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Out & About

Bill and I try to get plenty of exercise. I take a water aerobics class twice a week while Bill goes to the flying field, we're busy in the yard and we walk/hike/bird as often as possible. You'd think we be nice and thin - but our other passion is food. Bill cooks and I eat.

We didn't have to go far to see this juvenile Black-headed Grosbeak - he was right in the back yard!

An adult male Black-headed Grosbeak was close by.

The weather has been warm but extremely windy the last few days. Bill took this shot of Pikes Peak from the flying field (which here in Colorado Springs is the parking lot and yard of a local church). The snow is slowly melting.

 We've had several Spotted Towhees in the yard and we also see them in Palmer Park.

We've been back to Fountain Creek Nature Center. It's a great place to walk. The 2-mile loop is fairly flat for Colorado and passes through woods and by water. A Downy Woodpecker was busy looking for insects.

I wasn't sure what this was but I posted the picture on a Colorado Birding website and it was identified as a House Wren. I thought the wings and tail looked Wren-like, but the position of the tail and straight beak had me stumped.

 There were dozens of Yellow Warblers flitting around in the tree tops and positive identification is absolutely no challenge!

I've decided this is an Olive-sided Flycatcher but I'm open to other opinions.

 Belted Kingfishers are always fun to watch - but they are terrible to photograph. This was the best I could do with the sun shinning in our eyes.

More Yellow Warblers.

Today we headed to the Eastern Plains to see Bill's grandson play baseball. Afterwards we drove around. Even though we were only about 25 miles from home, we saw completely different birds on the Prairie.

This is a Horned Lark showing us how he got his name.

Where there is a wire or a fence, there is a Western Kingbird.

I hope no one was watching us when we spotted this guy - a Lark Bunting. He refused to stay still and we kept backing up the car, turning around, backing up again and turning sideways hoping for a decent shot. We followed him for about 20 minutes - and this was the best I could do.

But, the picture is good enough to check another bird off our list!