Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Winter Sampling

I made my first-ever venture down to Chatfield Reservoir south of Denver today. My hope was to get there before the bad weather set in, and try to re-find the Yellow-billed Loon and Black Scoter seen there last Sunday. But I was too late, and not bundled up enough, and the bitter cold wind kept me from doing a real search of the water. Bummer.

Still, I got a couple decent bird photos out of it, so it wasn't all for naught. Here's a bird that I first thought was a "bluish" Snow Goose, but may actually be a partial albino or a mystery hybrid. (Any thoughts? Feel free to comment, I'm open to suggestions.) I found it hanging with some Canadas in a field west of the reservoir. Mystery Goose amid Canadas, Dec 6, 2005 While driving to the boat ramp on the north end, I spotted a California Gull hunkered down alone in the middle of a parking lot. Wouldn't have been my first choice for roosting spot, but hey, it's not my call. California Gull, Dec 6, 2005 I headed home not long after that. When I got there, I came upon a grateful Northern Flicker at my suet feeder, on the coldest day we've had so far this season. Northern Flicker, Dec 6, 2005Memo to myself - next time I want to do cold weather birding, wear thicker gloves. Fingers that get numb after 5 minutes do not help you find rare birds.

Update (8:20pm): I removed the "Snow Goose" ID in lieu of something more indeterminate for the time being.


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