May 15, 2021

For the second day in a row, the two Hooded Merganser ducklings were nowhere to be seen in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  An adult female was at the pond that never freezes:

Hooded Merganser

So was a Belted Kingfisher:

Belted Kingfisher

I walked over to see the Great Horned Owls east of Estes and was rewarded by good views of two of the owlets:

Sleepy Great Horned Owlets

When it didn’t have its eyes closed, one of the owlets kept its left eye in a squint:

Great Horned Owlets

Mama Great Horned Owl not far away on a tree branch:

Great Horned Owl

Swallows–Violet-Green, Tree, Barn, and Cliff–were patrolling the pond by Stone House.  I saw three Canada Geese pairs with young:  two pairs had three chicks, and one pair had a single chick.  I also saw a couple of American Kestrels, half a dozen Blue Jays, a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, a couple of White-crowned Sparrows, and a Yellow Warbler while I was on that side of the greenbelt.  House Wrens can be heard everywhere.

West of Estes, a pair of Common Mergansers in Bear Creek:

Common Mergansers

I also saw a number of Mallards, including seven Mallard ducklings.

A little later in the morning, my better half and I rode the Mt. Carbon Loop at Bear Creek Lake Park on our mountain bikes.  The weather couldn’t have been better: in low 60s, a cool breeze, partly sunny, and relatively humid.  Along the trail that runs next to Morrison we saw a hundred or more swallows, as well as an Eastern Kingbird.

Finally, before the noon hour I saw a Black-chinned Hummingbird (first of the year!), the bottom of its gorget flashing metallic purple, at the nectar feeder on our back deck.