Saturday, December 27, 2008

CBC - Spanish Peaks, Colorado

December 28th was the Christmas Bird Count for the Spanish Peaks’ area of Colorado (which includes La Veta, where I live). I believe there were 4-5 groups (I am not the compiler; that would be the incredible birder, Dave Silverman (who expertly birds both by sound and sight)…this is his 20th year for the CBC at this area!)
WhoooHooo, Dave!

I will let Dave send the fully compiled list; these are the highlights (for me) that I saw with the folks with whom
I counted:

• Northern Harrier -1
• Red-tailed Hawk -1
• Lewis’s Woodpecker -2
(another group saw 7 Lewis’s!)
• Downy Woodpecker- 2
• Northern Flicker – 4 Red-shafted
• Northern Shrike - 1
• Steller’s Jay -3
• Blue Jay - 2
• Western Scrub-Jay -1
• Black-billed Magpie - 9
• American Crow - 2
• Common Raven - 31
• Black-capped Chickadee - 4
Rock Wren - 1
• Song Sparrow - 1
• Spotted Towhee – 4
• Wild Turkey – 45

And two new birds (both at my feeders...yippee!) for Dave Silverman’s 20-year Spanish Peaks’ count:

• White-winged Dove - 1
• Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1

I had a BLAST and learned to ID the Harrier; thanks to another experienced birder: Dave Moore (who was the only other one to witness the White-winged Dove, despite 3 tries by the rest of the counters) Sigh...

The bird is, of course, here this morning.

Photos from Wikipedia except where noted from Randy Hancock. Thanks Randy!


Bosque Bill said...

Beverly, Good for you!

It is pretty obvious when a Northern Harrier is cruising back and forth over a field. Where it gets tricky, especially for me, is when they are higher in the sky and not hunting. The guides rarely give you ID tips for the underside of this species.

Left Handed Birder said...

Sounds like you had a great count Beverly. Ours is on the first. I'd love to get Lewis's up here!

Beverly said...

Oh Bill, you are soooooooo right! Thankfully, we were above the hawk; watching it course a field below us. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see it’s owl-like face from the distance, but the long, narrow wings and the very obvious white-rump, combined with it’s gliding just over the tops of the brown grasses and sparsely scattered snow-cover helped me make the ID. Yeah, first time. LOL

Someday, I will see it's face. Can you imagine how beautiful a bird it must watch it upclose and personal? Oh yeah, you probably can! [grinz]

Beverly said...

Oh Connie…it was such a blast! I got to ride shotgun with an experienced birder from right here in La Veta; it was about time we got to know each other…Dave Moore’s wife is such a lovely person, and I’ve known her for awhile!

As soon as Dave Silverman compiles the entire count, I’ll of course publish it here…this was just the count I got with Dave and then going out after lunch with Polly and Paul; when we saw the shrike and finally a couple Crows…after all those Ravens!

P & P’s group saw SEVEN Lewis’s at the ‘special spot’ (at the bridge over the little creek just outside of town)…at first wondering if they were observing Acorn Woodies for their behavior! They saw a couple Bald Eagles earlier, too. Nice!!!

We suffered some heavy winds here...the birds seemed to be mostly hunkered down. Thank the gods my yard is somewhat protected by the big trees and the nearby hill...the birds enjoy it here. I wish you folks luck with your count...and look forward to reading all about it. Thanks for visiting!

Debbie said...

Beverly, sounds like you had a wonderful time. I'm so envious. I'm not aware that anyone is counting birds in Summit County. :-(

On the bright side, I've "met" a couple online who live just over Hoosier Pass in Park County who are also getting started watching birds. The blind leading the blind, I suppose, but it's nice to have someone close by.

Beverly said...


Yeah, I think there are counters in Summit County, at least I see reports from that area from time to time. I imagine the less-populated (and more difficult to treck) areas get fewer visitors, huh? Have you been getting the notices from the CFO? While it’s nice to support the fine organization (I can’t right now), one can see the COBirds list (for free) by clicking ‘View Archives’…which (oddly) are current! LOL

Thanks for visiting!