casual birding - gunnison county
- Bill and I decided to do some casual birding this morning. We drove up the
road that crosses muddy creek at the upper end of Paonia Reservoir. (only
bridge there) We drove our Subaru, but a 4wd would be better.
At 4.5 miles, we came to an aspen grove that was full of birds. Just
everywhere you looked. No rarities, just a nice place to go to early with
your thermos of coffee and watch birds.
Lincoln sparrow babies were bathing in a small pool of water just off the
road. Red-naped sapsuckers, downy woodpeckers and a flicker with young were
all busy working on the trees (except for the young flicker, who just kept
looking hungry and didn't move). Orange-crowned warblers seemed to be
munching on some berries; maybe it was bugs on the berries, but through the
scope it sure looked like they took a few bites.
Once again, we saw a solitary lark sparrow; we saw one at the east end of
Grand Mesa a few days earlier. I have no idea what they would be doing at
that high an elevation. And there was, I swear, a least flycatcher. He was
not that far away, and I will just say it - he just looked and acted like a
least flycatcher. No noise, of course. But flicking his tail up just a
little, moving constantly, his eye ring, and his beak (I think the least
flycatcher has a distinctive beak) Not something I would write in to the
records committee, but I felt it was a least. But I'm not going out on a
limb and insisting.
Anyhow, a nice road, one that had several habitats mixed together, but the
most birds we saw was the aspen grove.