Morning Birding Species List | September 26, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 7:30AM - 10:30AM
Weather: cold, frosty, and sunny
Location: Hallam Lake
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A series of nights with temperatures dipping just below 32 degrees (F) and days with highs in the 50s and low 60s has delivered the first hard frosts to the valley floor in Aspen, and signaled the change of seasons. The birds were less active this morning, and those that we saw were puffed up to conserve heat. A highlight was the Spotted Towhee which is somewhat unusual in the habitats at Hallam Lake where we saw it among the willows. Chickadees were actively feeding and seemed to be caching food items on undersides of branches. A dipper was feeding at the edge of the lake, beating its prey (possibly brook trout fry) on its perch rock. Male mallards are in various stages of molt as they regain their breeding plumage. They are molting only their body feathers and not their flight feathers (wing and tail feathers), and some individuals are nearly complete, while other look like they have just barely begun to molt. Warbler activity in shrubs along ACES' driveway after the birding outing revealed a couple of Wilson's Warblers. These warblers are underway with their migration, using lower-elevation sites for roosting and refueling as they prepare for the next leg of their trip. Like many small passerines, Wilson's Warblers migrate at night to take advantage of the more stable, cooler air. Join us next Tuesday, when our schedule switches to Morning Birding on the first Tuesday of the month through the winter!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong