I cruised around Northern Colorado this morning, trying to re-find a Gyrfalcon that a friend of mine saw as it swooped in front of his car yesterday at dusk. Unfortunately, everyone I know who tried for it today shared my lack of success in re-finding the bird.
After tiring of my Gyr-dipping ways, I veered west, taking me into the foothills northwest of Ft. Collins with hopes of maybe seeing a Northern Pygmy-Owl. At one likely spot I heard Steller's Jays and Pygmy Nuthatches pitching a fit, which is always a good sign of a possible owl. Unfortunately, they were up in ponderosas beyond a private fence so I couldn't investigate.
Amazingly enough, though, as I was heading back down towards Ft. Collins I noticed the profile of a compact small bird atop a dead branch in a cottonwood tree. Sure enough, it was a NOPO sitting there in great light- wow, what luck! The road was up above the little stream valley there, so even though the bird was up high in the tree I was about even with it. I decided to digiscope the bird since it was a little far out for detailed DSLR work- turned out to be OK because I could work several angles without flushing it from that distance. Schweet.
Tundra Swan Song
6 days ago