north fork news
- Well, not news for the most part because some of these sightings are a
week old, but I did have a very late date bird yesterday worth posting
so I'll mention what I've seen lately that I found interesting.
This year Hansen Mesa where I live above Hotchkiss, has an apple crop,
unlike last year...and happy day, the Lewis' woodpeckers are back in
good numbers. I saw six at once the other day and 2 visited my yard.
They have been gone for a year and are a gorgeous sight for sore eyes.
Turkey vultures have been forming large kettles over Hotchkiss since
Saturday. I have also seen many more small groups soaring low all around
The many [20 to 30 individuals] LEGOs I fed all summer have thinned out
and given way to many more PISIs with some Evening grosbeaks and Cassins
finches. Along with the HOFI they are eating me out of house and home,
but they sure are cute and I know they won't stay all winter...right?
10 days ago I saw my first ever Loggerheaded shrike on my walk through
the neighboring 'dobies.
a flock of maybe 20 Cedar waxwings were in the neighborhood on the day I
saw the shrike.
Many of the species that disappeared from my 'hood when West Nile first
hit with a vengeance have been staging a comeback. The White-breasted
nuthatches are present in good numbers and I even had a Red-breasted
spend a day a few days ago. The Blk.-capped chickadees are back, as well
as pinyon jays, magpies and now crows.
a sharpie has appeared, scattering finches, and a kestrel has set up
shop in my yard. The winter resident kingfisher has returned although
this bird spends time right by the house, unlike in the past so maybe a
I have more butter butts than ever before in my yard...I was thrilled to
watch one bathe in my water feature yesterday. This seems to be a great
year for these warblers around Delta county.
I had 2 [!] adult male singing Plumbeous vireos here until the big storm
Yesterday, 9-27, I walked the ditch road above Paonia. I encountered a
troop of Ruby-crowned kinglets...a bird I don't expect to see in multiples.
The best bird of late was the very late Black phoebe in almost the same
place I saw a late catbird last year along that ditch. I don't remember
if they have been sighted in Eastern Delta county before. I could not
relocate the bird on my return pass about 45 minutes later.