La Plata County Field Trip
- On August 8, 2009, the Durango Bird Club took a field trip to Vallecito Reservoir and Middle Mountain. At the reservoir, 2 adult HERRING GULLS in breeding plumage were found. The birds were seen north of the Pine River on the east side of the reservoir. The east side of the reservoir was particularly worthwhile. We started off in the area of the dam with Evening Grosbeaks, Cedar Waxwings, and Pine Siskins. At the Old Timers Day Use Area, there was a mixed flock of birds. At that location we observed: Virginia's Warbler, MacGilivray's Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Audubon's Warbler, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Pygmy Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Mountain Chickadee, Hammond's Flycatcher, and a flyover Band-tailed Pigeon. Lewis's Woodpecker, Cordilleran Flycatcher, and Yellow Warbler were seen further to the north on the east side of the reservoir. A Spotted Sandpiper was the only shorebird seen. Birds observed from Middle Mountain Road included: Prairie Falcon, Olive-sided Flycatcher, White-throated Swift, Gray Jay, Green-tailed Towhee, Lincoln's Sparrow and Vesper Sparrow. Four species of hummingbirds (Calliope, Broad-tailed, Black-chinned, and Rufous) were seen at my house, which is about 5 miles NE of Durango. My husband, Pete, is presently putting out about 7 quarts of sugar water each day for the hummingbirds. Peter Derven, Ellen Derven, Riley Morris, Heather Morris, and I participated in the outing. If interested in the complete list of species for the day, feel free to contact me.
P.S. As far as Middle Mountain Road is concerned, we all decided that birding in that area on a weekday would be preferable to avoid ATV traffic.