Mama Broad-tailed Hummingbird at her nest:
This morning I walked out to the pond by Stone House. The juvenile Barn Swallows were hungry!
Just east of beaver dam next to the pedestrian bridge I saw a Black-crowned Night Heron and a beaver:
During an early lunch walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt, I saw Yellow Warblers, Gray Catbirds, Black-capped Chickadees, Red-tailed Hawks (mama and one of the juveniles), and this Western Painted Turtle (in the pond north of Bear Creek):
I saw a dragontail I’d never seen befoe:
And more familiar flying things:
Then I met up with a couple of fellow birders/photographers. I pointed out this Cooper’s Hawk:
They led me to a Broad-tailed Hummingbird’s nest:
On our early morning walk with the dog in the Bear Creek Greenbelt, my better half and I watched this beaver enjoy a meal in Bear Creek:
Another dragonfly I’d never seen before:
This afternoon after work there was a brief thunderstorm and then the sun came back out. It looked so nice that my better half and I took another stroll in the Bear Green Greenbelt with the dog, this time to the east. We found the Hooded Merganser family in the pond next to Stone House.
On a lunch walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt, I stopped by a House Wren nest above the pedestrian bridge:
Dragonflies are now in and around Bear Creek:
Here’s one of the juveniles at the Red-tailed Hawk nest on Yale:
And here it is flying:
Here’s the other juvenile Red-tailed Hawk:
And here it is flying:
Mama Red-tailed Hawk was not far from her fledglings:
On the walk home, I saw a Song Sparrow singing in its usual place above the marsh:
Also in the marsh young Red-winged Blackbirds were begging for food:
Finally, a Double-crested Cormorant, a regular fixture on the south side of the creek near the pedestrian bridge:
On our early morning walk with the dog in the Bear Creek Greenbelt, my better half and I saw a Yellow Warbler across Bear Creek and a beaver in the pond north of Bear Creek. It’s a good time to see wildlife, but not so good for taking pictures.
On my walk at lunch, with the sun overhead, I saw a female Common Merganser in Bear Creek:
Both Red-tailed Hawk juveniles have branched out from their nest on Yale.
On my way back home, I saw a Bullock’s Oriole with an insect in its beak. I also saw Mama Red-tailed Hawk (on the pictures I can see the leg band) being harassed by a Common Grackle.
Just after I started walking down into the Bear Creek Greenbelt while on a lunch break, I saw a Red-tailed Hawk flying off with a snake, still twisting. By the time I got to the Red-tailed Hawk nest, near Yale, one of the nestlings was just finishing off the snake.
Then the nestling spread out its wings, as though it were mantling to hide whatever remained from its sibling, who has branched out.
Neither Red-tailed Hawk parent made its presence known while I was watching the nestlings. However, as I was walking back toward Bear Creek, mama Red-tailed Hawk appeared in the sky above me and circled a couple of times, silently.
A Virginia Rail (or maybe more than one) has been very vocal for the past few days. It has–or they have-moved a little east of the reedy marsh where I first saw one weeks ago. The reeds have grown so thick and tall that it’s impossible to catch a glimpse. Today I stood probably within just a few feet of the Virginia Rail. Its call was so loud that it felt like my bones were shaking.
But the only birds I saw at the marsh were dozens of Red-winged Blackbirds and this Song Sparrow:
Back at Bear Creek, just east of the pedestrian bridge, I saw a Black-crowned Night Heron:
On my walk I saw three different types of butterflies: Variegated Fritillaries, Western Tiger Swallowtails, and Cabbage Whites.
Our back yard has a steady stream of avian customers to our feeders and bird bath. House Finches arrive by the half dozen or dozen. The loudest bird is the House Wren. Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers are steady customers. Less often seen these days are White-breasted Nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees. This past weekend a Bullock’s Oriole and a Red-breasted Nuthatch made appearances. So did a flock of Bushtits. And European Starlings, Black-billed Magpies, and Blue Jays make splashy appearances, driving off the other songbirds.
Early this morning with the temperature around 47 degrees I set off on a mission to find the Hooded Merganser and her five ducklings in the Bear Creek Greenbelt. Immediately I was sidetracked by a Black-crowned Night Heron perched above Bear Creek, and then by a Great Blue Heron, flying west along the creek. At the underpass at Estes, I paused to watch the dozens of swallows flying in and out of their nests:
To find the Hoodies, first I checked the small pond east of the pond next to Stone House. I didn’t see them there, but I did see my first Cedar Waxwing here in Colorado:
The Hoodies were in the pond by Stone House. I followed them around the pond for about an hour and a half, through two complete cycles of eating, cleaning, and resting.
When the ducklings caught a crawfish, they tended to speed away from their siblings so they could wrestle with their catch in peace.
Portraits of mama Hooded Merganser:
While I was observing the Hoodies, a few different birds dropped by the trees at the edge of the pond.
As this Red-eared Slider found out, birds leave their feathers lying around.
Other birds that I saw near Stone House include a Swainson’s Hawk and dozens of Canada Geese. The paved trails are littered with their droppings. Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings, and American Robins were out in numbers, but I heard not a single Belted Kingfisher.
On my walk home, I saw a few more birds in and above Bear Creek, including a Mallard and five ducklings working their way upstream, and these birds:
When I got back home, it was 63 degrees–and then it proceeded to shoot up another 20 degrees.
Early this morning when my better half and I were walking the dog in the Bear Creek Greenbelt, we saw three beavers in the pond north of Bear Creek. After we got home, we spotted three young coyotes playing in the field behind our back yard. Here is one:
This afternoon when my better half and I were walking the dog in the Bear Creek Greenbelt, we spotted these Mallard ducklings dozing on a log: