June 18, 2021

Today, on an unexpected day off because of the new Juneteenth holiday, very early in the morning I drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park in hopes of finding one of the White-tailed Ptarmigans that have reported over the past week.

I spent three hours–from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.–at Medicine Bow Curve, but did not see one.  I did, however, see a few other birds, including these:

White-crowned Sparrow

American Pipit

I also saw three yellow-bellied marmots.  

Yellow-bellied marmot

Yellow-bellied marmot

Yellow-bellied marmots

A bit up the road I saw a pika:


Not far from the Bowen-Baker area, I saw a bull moose, but it was lying down beneath trees and well-camouflaged.

June 17, 2021

First looks at one of the Cooper’s Hawk nestlings in the Bear Creek Greenbelt (nest just east of Kipling St.):

Cooper’s Hawk nestling (and back side of adult)

Cooper’s Hawk nestling (and back side of adult)

June 15, 2021

This morning on our early morning walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt we saw two adults raccoons and five kits.  Here’s some of the family (or maybe families):

Raccoons and kits

June 14, 2021

After work I took a walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt, intent on finding the Wood Duck and her ducklings.  They were not in the pond east of Stone House pond, as they had been a few days ago, though a gentleman on a park bench there let me know I had just missed an Osprey attempting to nab a small-mouth bass.

I did see a Black-crowned Heron and a Great Blue Heron fly over that pond.  Here’s the latter:

Great Blue Heron

The Wood Ducks, it turns out, were in the pond by the Stone House:

Wood Duck and ducklings

On this sweltering day, the pond attracted a number of creatures:

Barn Swallow

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Western Painted Turtle


Meanwhile, west of Estes, near the footbridge over Bear Creek, a Mallard and her half-grown duckling basked in the sun:

Mallard and duckling

Here’s a swallowtail at my neighbor’s flowers:

Western Tiger Swallowtail

June 13, 2021

We’re entering a heat wave, with temps forecast to be in the 90s for the next several days.  This morning we headed out on our mountain bikes shortly after 6:00 a.m. to ride at Bear Creek Lake Park.  In addition to the cool temperatures, uncrowded trails, and profusion of wildflowers at peak bloom in purples, yellows, orange and white, we enjoyed spotting a number of birds:  a Black-headed Grosbeak (I thought it was an American Robin singing until I saw it perched), a Western Kingbird, a couple of Vesper Sparrows, two Yellow Warblers, and two Lesser Goldfinches.

Afterwards, we took the dog for a walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  In the area just east of Kipling Street, we saw a Black-chinned Hummingbird, a Gray Catbird, and this Cooper’s Hawk:

Cooper’s Hawk

In our front yard an American Robin watched us return home:

American Robin

June 12, 2021

This morning I walked in the Bear Creek Greenbelt east of Estes to see if I could find the ducklings I saw the other day.  Affirmative!

Hooded Merganser with duckling

Wood Duck and seven ducklings

June 11, 2021

I took a lunchtime walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  Here’s the first dragonfly of the year I’ve been able to photograph:

Common Whitetail

And here is the nestling Red-tailed Hawk, ready to fledge–or branch out–any day.

Red-tailed Hawk nestling

After work my better half and I rode the Mt. Carbon Loop on our mountain bikes.  We saw a Swainson’s Hawk, a few Red-tailed Hawks, two Cooper’s Hawks, a Western Kingbird, a Bullock’s Oriole, and a Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

June 9, 2021

After dinner my better half and I took the dog for a walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  In the pond by the Stone House we saw a Hooded Merganser with a single, half-grown duckling, and another female Hooded Merganser nearby without ducklings.  There were a few Mallards, a Double-crested Cormorant, and a lone male Gadwall.

Hooded Merganser duckling

Hooded Merganser and duckling

Here’s a first look at a Wood Duck with her eight ducklings.  They were in the pond east of the one by the Stone House.

Wood Duck with eight ducklings

June 7, 2021

On our early morning walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt with the dog my better half spotted a pair of Cinnamon Teals in the pond that never freezes:

Cinnamon Teals

There were also two batches of very young Mallard ducklings in the pond that never freezes.  In Bear Creek west of the footbridge, we saw mama Mallard with her three half-grown ducklings.