Morning Birding Species List | April 2, 2019
Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 8AM - 11AM
Location: Hallam Lake, Rio Grande Trail, and West End
Sharp-shinned/Cooper's Hawk (insufficient view for positive ID)
A mild day with overcast sky and the season's extensive snowpack created conditions for excellent birding today. We began with a mini lesson on the three North American species of Rosy-Finches at Hallam Lake and a quick spin outside at the upper ponds. We covered life history background on Rosy-Finches in order to prepare us for viewing them at a private residence on West Buttermilk Road, including their winter flocking and elevational movements, seasonal bill color change, summer breeding behavior, and more. Our spin at the upper ponds was highlighted by discovering a pair of pine siskins actively being building their nest and great looks at song sparrows and chickadees. At West Buttermilk Road, we stepped out of the cars and saw brown-capped rosy-finches immediately, indicating that a sizable flock was visiting the feeders. The following half hour was a mesmerizing experience of observing more than 100 rosy-finches at close range at the feeders, on the ground and snowpack, and in the surrounding trees and scrub oaks. The majority were Brown-capped and we were also fortunate to see one Gray-crowned and two Black Rosy-finches in the flock. Back at Hallam Lake, we birded around the main trail loop, finding the season's first observations of Fox Sparrow and Ruby-crowned Kinglet at that site. Join us in May on the 7th at Hallam Lake and the 21st at Rock Bottom Ranch, both sessions will run 7AM - 10AM.
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong