Birding trip to southwest counties.
Brenda and I spent Sunday through Tuesday looking for late fall
migrating waterbirds. We found Jason's and Andrea's Greater Scaup and
two Red-breasted Mergansers one mile north of the town of Ridgway.
They were still there Tuesday. The Hooded Mergansers are still on the
Ridgway Reservoir. We did find a Double-crested Cormorant and 4
California Gulls on Sunday.
We found another good birding spot about two miles east of Montrose.
It is the town water supply and can be reached off of San Miguel RD.
San Miguel Rd. is just south of US-50. We drove the canal road from
the east end of San Miguel RD. There are not any mean signs and the
reservoir can be viewed from the east and south sides. It looks like
it could have some real potential for waterbirds and shorebirds.
On Monday 21st, the only good bird in Gunnison County was a Barrow's
Goldeneye at the east end of Blue Mesa. There were lots of ducks and
gulls and one Common Loon.
Lake City was quite and we could only find two active feeders. The
best birding was at Lake San Cristobal. Lots of common ducks and
grebes were present.
Driving south to Archuleta and Pogosa Springs was uneventful. There
are few birds in the high country. We managed to spend some time in
the hot pools at Pogosa. I had to drag Brenda, kicking and screaming,
into the pools but I finally succeeded.
The next morning, Tuesday 22nd, we did find a few good birds. We
drove to Sullenberger Reservoir west of Pogosa. Best bird was a first
year male Greater Scaup. This may be a new county record for
Next we drove to the lake at Fairfield Inn along US-160. The pair of
Trumpeter Swans(clipped wings) now have 4 first winter swans with
them. I assume they are offsprings. The young swans are mobile so
will they stay or will they leave. There were many ducks and geese to
look through. We did find one Cackling Goose. From what I could tell
I suspect it was a Richardson's. The goose was very small with a tiny
Upon arriving back to the truck Eurasian Collared-Doves greeted us.
This surely isn't the first county record for Archuleta. Two of them
looked like hybrids, Morning Doves/Collared-Doves. Does this happen?
We proceeded on to LaPlata County with two places on our list to
check. Pastorius State Widlife Area was first. Lots of ducks but not
much of interest so we traveled over to Zink's Pond. We were able to
fill most of our LaPlata County duck holes at Zink's. Sure is nice to
see Canvasbacks and Pintails. We did have a swan in a ditch. Finally
it came into view and yes it was a Mute. What a red bill.
This year we keep a year list. In early January we left for Belize
and Guatemala. We returned in late March and birded only locally
since. We did make a short time to Wyoming and southern Utah. The
Cackling Goose was number 600 or about 30% of the bird species in
North America. We now have a better appreciation for the effort some
make to reach 700 plus just in ABA area. One BIG difference! We only
spent about $3000 extra in driving down as far as Guatemala, not the
$90,000 that is spent on big years in ABA regions.
Coen and Brenda