best birds today
Missy and I are extremely grateful to Dick Filby for showing us around his part of Colorado (Carbondale to Independence Pass) and for these birds: white-tailed ptarmigan, band-tailed pigeon, and northern saw-whet owl. We checked the red-headed woodpecker site near Carbondale, but no woodpecker. Delightful scenery and greenery all along the Roaring Fork! =)
Missy and I checked some west-end feedlots (Mesa County) this morning, hoping for a few more year birds. At ONE of the larger feedlots we encountered ca. 600 Rock pigeons (one happened to be in the clutches of a Red-tailed hawk), 45 Common ravens, 6000 starlings, 1200 Red-winged blackbirds, 75 Brown-headed cowbirds (the eBird filter requested verification of these, and correctly so because I have never encountered more than a few here in winter), 700 House sparrows, and no Yellow-headed blackbirds as in years past. En route to other feedlots we found a Merlin, Prairie falcon, Loggerhead shrike, Northern shrike, Horned larks, Western meadowlarks, and Brewers blackbirds.
Toppermost, however, was the phone call from Dennis Garrison at 1256 pm regarding two birds at Confluence Park in Delta - Greater white-fronted goose and Trumpeter swan. Amazing to me, Dennis had re-found the GWFG snoozing on the ice among hundreds of Canada geese, and had it in his scope when I arrived. The Trumpeter was not camera shy, in fact was pre-occupied with keeping a Graylag at bay... entertaining!
No wind and awesome birding!