Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Colorado Adventures 2012-Day 6

With Pine Grosbeak and Black Swift being out of the way as lifers seen, I decided to focus and shoot for my two other main hopeful lifers.  Those would be two species well above the treeline levels, Brown-capped Rosy Finch and White-tailed Ptarmigan. I To start off Day 6, August 14th, my Dad and I hiked up a road called Tomboy Road that went up to the 13,000' Imogene Pass.  I was strongly hoping to reach tundra levels in this hike, but I did "slightly" underestimate how easy and quick I thought the elevation could be reached.  It's a six mile route to this high elevation, but we made it only a little over three miles before heading back.  Dad was exhausted and compared this hike to hiking the steep trail up the Grand Canyon itself.  The two high elevation birds would have to wait for another hopeful day.  On the hike, I did spot a pair of Pine Grosbeaks.  I had good views, but once again, my camera didn't.  I did get a lame shadow shot of the male Pine Grosbeak. 

A few views from Tomboy Road...

After getting home from the hike and having lunch, we all spent the rest of the day in the area of Telluride.  I went birding, and my family explored around town.  I birded in a variety of habitats, including high elevation riparian habitat.  This riparian habitat was dominated by a mix of narrowleaf cottonwood and blue spruce trees.

The groves of blue spruce and narrowleaf cottonwoods were full of birds, including:

Black-capped Chickadee

Brown Creeper

White-breasted Nuthatch

Dusky Flycatcher

Western Wood-Pewee

Female Mountain Bluebird

Walking away from the riparian area and along the mixed spuce, fir, and aspen forests, I heard a juvenile Goshawk calling and looked up to see two juvenile Goshawks soaring above the forest.  The birds were up a good distance, but I managed a identifiable shot to show the shape and size of the bird.

Surrounding the riparian forests were some open grasslands, other wildlife was present besides the birds!

Gunnison Prairie Dog


Elk herd


Go to Day 7

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