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"Color Sunday" on Grand Mesa

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  • leon stigen
    Cecilia Barr and I drove up to the Grand Mesa yesterday for the second Color Sunday . The colors were great, so we stopped at one overlook on the way up to
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2011
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      Cecilia Barr and I drove up to the Grand Mesa yesterday for the second "Color Sunday". The colors were great, so we stopped at one overlook on the way up to Mesa Lakes. Flying above us, twittering and zooming, were at least 20 White-throated Swifts. Then, we hiked the West Bench trail over to lift one at Powderhorn and a ways beyond. We saw, and heard, lots of Stellar's Jays and a couple of Gray Jays. Just past the little trail over to the vista(between lift one and two), we came into a little spruce woods where one fairly large spruce with a trail marker on it had blown diagonally across the trail into some other, smaller spruce trees. There were at least 6 three-toed woodpeckers very busy here hacking the bark off of all of the spruces around to get at their food source, the larvae of wood-boring insects. I could identify at least one pair of birds, and the other 4 birds may easily have been a couple more pairs. All of their hammering and hacking was incessant---the most three-toeds I have ever seen in one place before!
         Hiking back towards Mesa Lakes, we encountered one large mixed flock of birds that had a bunch of mountain chickadees in it along with several brown creepers and a pair of red-breasted nuthatches that were trumpeting loudly together for at least 15 minutes as we watched and listened. A fun sight in the deep woods!!!
         Lee Stigen
         Grand Junction
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