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Birding on Independence Pass Species List | June 18, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015, 6AM - 2:30PM
Weather: sunny
Location: North Star Nature Preserve, Difficult Campground, Grottos, Braille Trail, Lower Lost Man, Top of Independence Pass

Species Identified      
Canada Goose
Mallard
Green-winged Teal
Great Blue Heron
Sora
American Coot
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Red-naped Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Western Wood-peewee
Cordilleran Flycatcher
     Warbling Vireo
Gray Jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
House Wren
American Dipper
     Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Mountain Bluebird
American Robin
American Pipit
MacGillivrays Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Green-tailed Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
     Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin

Comments: This has been an exceptional spring for snowpack coverage and spring streamflows, with the rivers and creeks running at very high volumes. The late spring and big water are presenting conditions that are quite different from last year's experience on this class: delayed bird activity on the tundra (only one pipit and many white-crowned sparrows observed), delayed leaf-out in the tundra and high sub-alpine zones with less bird activity, huge water changing dipper foraging strategies, and overbanking at North Star affecting waterfowl activity and ground-nesting birds. It was interesting to discuss our observations and marvel at nature's adaptability!

Bird highlights were: MacGillivray's warbler and black-headed grosbeak at Difficult campground, Wilson's warblers at Lower Lost Man, a dipper working the edges of the raging Roaring Fork at Grottos, and nesting swallows and woodpeckers at North Star. Also a vocal but well-hidden sora at North Star.

Other highlights included: the raging Roaring Fork River, and a moose at North Star.

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide