This morning a friend and I hiked six miles at Mt. Falcon. In addition to joggers, hikers, and mountain bikers, we saw mule deer, Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-billed Magpies, Black-capped Chickadees, American Crows, Steller’s Jays, a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, and these birds:
There were lots of mule deer out, including this one:
And on the descent back on Castle Trail, we walked by these wild plums, which gave off the most intoxicating scent:
To Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge this morning:
Speaking of prairie dogs, we were hoping to spot a Burrowing Owl that had taken over a prairie dog burrow. No such luck, but we did spot one interloper:
Many, many birds were present, including Red-tailed Hawks soaring overhead, as well as another type of hawk–possibly Swainson’s Hawk. We spotted an American Kestrel high in a tree. Red-winged Blackbirds were ubiquitous. Closer to the ground we saw these (as well as a Vesper Sparrow, of which I got no good shot):
Today a friend and I hiked ten miles at Deer Creek Canyon Park, a mere twenty-minute drive from my house. On the hike toward Golden Eagle Trail, we saw (and heard!) a few creatures:
And the view:
Late this afternoon I took the dog for a walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt. We had hardly left our neighborhood when I spotted our first bird:
Just a short distance away I saw this collection of Prairie Dogs in a field of several dozen:
And then we walked west on the Bear Creek Greenbelt, where I spotted a Cooper’s Hawk sitting in a nest that my better half and I had happened upon a couple of weeks ago, when construction was still underway:
We checked on the Great Horned Owl nest on the greenbelt west of us:
Then we checked on the Great Horned Owl nest on the greenbelt east of us. I saw two chicks stirring in the nest, and I saw Mama, presumably, snoozing away in a nearby tree:
This afternoon I went back to the Great Horned Owl nest east of us on the Bear Creek Greenbelt, where I could see only two of the three of the Great Horned Owl nestlings clearly:
The adult–mama, presumably–was sleeping soundly in a nearby tree.
West of the nest on the Greenbelt, just before Estes, a cyclist and I spotted a Cooper’s Hawk at the same time. We both stopped to watch. It was adding to a nest above the creek. Back and forth it flew with twigs.