Friday, September 5, 2014

Colorado Field Ornithologist (CFO) Convention in Sterling Colorado

Bill and I attended our first CFO Convention over the Labor Day weekend in Sterling, Colorado. We gathered with 175 other birders and the mayor of Sterling for the welcome barbecue on Thursday evening followed by 3 days of field trips, a Saturday night banquet, talks and impromptu "chases" to see specific birds.  

A Black-billed Magpie along the route to Sterling.

After the welcome BBQ, several of us went out to search for Western Screech Owls. The leader lead a car parade to a remote spot and called in the owls. It was quite dark when I took this shot and I'm amazed I got anything - but it's a picture, so it counts - a lifer for both Bill and me.

Our first field trip took us to a private wildlife area in Fort Morgan. We saw lots of Towhees - this one is a juvenile Spotted Towhee.

There was a lot of discussion about the identity of this sparrow but the leader finally decided it was a Song Sparrow.

Western Wood Peewees were the default bird of the trip - we saw dozens.

A Red-shafted Flicker.

Swainson's Hawk

I've only seen Wilson's Warblers in the high country before this trip.

Another Life Bird for us - a juvenile Mississippi Kite. There were a lot flying high over one of the city parks, but Bill and I waited until dusk when they began to land in the trees.

Not a great picture as it was so dark - but a real thrill for me to see one up close.

Our birding group (the slackers) on Saturday at Columbine Park. Our leader is Ted Floyd - a wealth of fabulous information!

 This has been the year of the Cedar Waxwings! There were dozens in one of the trees - both adults and juveniles.

This time of year, I don't see the red on their wings.

A Red-breasted Nuthatch looking for insects.

Our Sunday trip took us to Tamarak SWA where I saw this Bullock's Oriole. We counted a total of 58 species - not bad. It was a great weekend and we are already looking forward to next year!