Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Colorado Adventures 2012-Days 10 & 11

Day 10 (August 18th) was our last full day in Colorado.  We spent most of our time around our cabin, hiking around Telluride, enjoying town, riding the Gondola, and having fun.  Dad and I woke up early and went for a drive.  We explored a few new places for the trip south of our Cabin, one being Alta Lakes and the other being Trout Lake.  Both of these places look awesome and perhaps maybe next year we can explore them (you can't explore everything in one trip!).  At Alta Lakes, I also saw a lifer mammal, a Snowshoe Hare (my fourth mammal lifer of the trip!)

Trout Lake


Telluride Area


A Yellow Warbler coming down for a drink in Telluride..


Day 11, August 19th, our last morning in Colorado before the long trip home to Glendale, Arizona.  This amazing trip flew by, and I'll never forget the amazing beauty, the awesome birding, and the fun time with my awesome family!  Mom and Dad loved the area, and seem like they want to come back next year (I strongly hope). 

Concluding:  As we were packing up and only thirty minutes away from leaving, I heard a real Northern Goshawk calling up in the woods.  I tried to follow it and was close, but I didn't want to make everyone else late in packing up because of my wants.  I was probably only 100 yards from the Goshawk, and it turned out I did have plenty of time to look for it after all.  Everything was done and we still had twenty minutes left once I returned.  I kicked myself for my decision making on the way home.  Unless by chance the Gray Jay stole a speaker, that was an authentic Goshawk in the woods, probably the one the jays have been imitating.  Maybe next year I'll see this Goshawk...

Birding wise, if we come back to this cabin next year, I already have my birding mission planned out.  I plan to bring my own truck so I don't have to nag my Dad to take me places.  Another thing, I got three lifers on this trip.  Next year, I also plan to get three.  One of course, is the White-tailed Ptarmigan.  That is probably the easiest of the three if I can bird in appropriate habitat for more than an hour.  The second is the Gunnison Sage Grouse.  There are locations in San Miguel County that hold the grouse, but aren't too far away at all from Telluride.  I'd be willing to take a few days to try for that bird.  Third....Boreal Owl.  This owl can be tough, but one was reported at Alta Lakes during July this year.  The turnoff to Alta Lakes is only three miles south from where we stayed at.  And the road to the lakes is a dirt road in excellent condition for five miles.  I can take this short trek several times at night and play my iPod to try and get a response from the great Boreal himself.....

And also, Sharp-tailed Grouse and White-winged Crossbill are remote possibilities.  I hope to bird in this wonderful state and continue the adventure next year in 2013!! 


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