Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Colorado Summary

Days: 5
Total Species: 55
Total Checklists: 21
Life Birds: 19

American Dipper Video

Life Birds - Colorado 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Rosy-Finches in Conifer, CO

Thanks to John and Diane Sears, owners of Evergreen Wild Bird Store in Evergreen Colorado, today I got to see my first Rosy Finches. The Sears' have all three varieties at their home in Conifer and were kind enough to invite me up to see the finch flock. Really amazing color and beautiful birds.
Brown-Capped, Black, and Gray Rosy-Finch
Visit their store at 32156 Castle Ct. Evergreen or online at

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chatfield State Park Birding Walk

On Saturday I participated in a birding walk at Chatfield State Park in Colorado. The tour was led by Joey Kellner who was really great. If you're in the Denver area find walks with Denver Audubon through their website::

We started around 8:00am and the whole family came along with me. I admire their "chutzpah" because the weather was cold, as Colorado often is in November. I joined the walk hoping that a guided walk would help be ID some common western species that I might normally miss.  The park is really fantastic. Lots of varied habitat that I am sure is amazing in the Spring and Summer. This time of year unfortunately things were a little quieter than I would have liked.

We did see some great waterfowl species and six life birds for me. I would say the highlight was a Rusty Blackbird.

Here's hoping I make it back next summer for another Chatfield Visit (despite the dangers!).
Checklist for this Trip

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Colorado Brambling

This year it's our turn to visit the in-laws in Colorado for Thanksgiving. In addition to turkey and Colorado's famous micro-brews I am going to take this opportunity to get some birding in. It's just my luck that a Brambling has been seen in the Denver area. A rare visitor from Eurasia, the Brambling alluded us on the first day. We drove straight from the airport. Of course those who were camped out at Bear Creek State Park told us we had just missed it. I missed the Brambling, broke my camera lens, and didn't see one life bird. Quite the day. 

Lucky for me we went back down two days later and spotted it within the first 15 minutes. Also, I got my first American Dipper as an added bonus. Maybe that was payback for the broken camera lens.  

Checklist for this Trip

This sighting seems a good time to start a blog (I can't believe I am writing that) and allow those who are interested to follow my travels and the birds.  I assume this will be limited to my parents, in-laws, and Chet, but I guess we'll see.
Brambling in Colorado - Photo via Flickr

Brambling Range Map

Steller's Jay - Photo by Devin Hefferon
Western Scrub Jay - Photo by Devin Hefferon

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hurricane Sandy's Northern Lapwing

Northern Lapwing - Photo by Devin Hefferon
Today I saw my first "Mega" rare bird. A Northern Lapwing. Displaced/Blown off course by Hurricane Sandy. The Lapwing has spent the last couple of weeks in a corn stubble field at Bridgewater State Farm in Plymouth County, MA.

Without a scope this was a difficult bird to spot. Lucky for me there were at least ten people standing in the field when I arrived. The bird was in the distance seemingly no bigger than a pigeon. The few looks I had through bystanders scopes revealed a colorful bird. Very regal(don't let my photo fool you).

Northern Lapwing Range