Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lake Pueblo

Summer has arrived in Colorado and there are now few email alerts for rare and unusual birds to lure me off to the far corners of the state. So I head down to Lake Pueblo, not too far away and always has something to offer. About 30 feet from the parking lot I see a female Blue Grosbeak about 15 feet in front of me right out in the open. It's the best Blue Grosebeak photo op I have ever had. The only problem is that the camera is in the backpack, I chose comfort over being prepared. I slowly take off the backback and lower to the ground and the bird is still there. I unzip the bag and pick up the camera and the bird is still there. I mount the camera on the tripod with one eye on the bird. I slowly remove the lens cap, the bird appears to be waiting patiently as if it wants to have its picture taken. I slowly aim the camera and look through the viewfinder... the bird is gone. Oh well, it was only a female. I have seen Blue Grosbeaks twice in Colorado and they were both at this location.

Loggerhead Shrike

A short distance later I come upon a Loggerhead Shrike. This bird allows me to get really close without even trying.

On my way back to the car I see movement at my feet and notice a Lark Sparrow running away from me. It acts like both of its wings are broken. Once it gets about 30 feet away it flys up onto a Yucca and then acts completly normal. Is this behavior like the injured killdeer act? Was it trying to lure me away from its nest? Do Lark Sparrows nest on the ground?

It appeared to be a great day for Lizards but I only found this one.

Triploid Checkered Whiptail

Bee Assassin Bug

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Colorado National Monument - Lizards etc.

Colorado National Monument is also a good place to find lizards. I found 3 species without a lot of effort.

Side-blotched Lizard

Western Whiptail

Plateau-striped Whiptail

Rock Squirrel

Prickley-pear Cactus

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Colorado National Monument

Last week I headed out to western Colorado to do some camping at Colorado National Monument. After a couple of hours at the monument we had seen several of the birds that specialties of the area including: Black-throated Gray Warbler (campsite), Pinion Jay (campsite), Gambels Quail (road to campground and in Grand Junction), and Juniper Titmouse (campsite). I had one curious Juniper Titmouse fly to within 3 feet of where I was sitting on the picnic table. I thought that it was going to land on my hand, it might of if I had had some seeds.

As lively as the Monument was the best opportunities for photography were at the Kokopelli trailheads near Fruita. It was at this location that I was able to photograph my first Black-throated Sparrows in Colorado.

Black-throated Sparrow with Food

Black-throated Sparrow with Grasshopper

Black-throated Sparrow

A few other birds agreed to pose for a photo.

Western Kingbird

Violet-green Swallow