I headed over to Barr Lake State Park today, just north of Denver International Airport. I was meeting my parents Jim & Karen and my niece Abby, with my little guy Garrett in tow. He idolizes Abby and was pretty psyched to see Grandpa and Grandma, too. I was anticipating a pretty mellow outing, birding a little but mostly wrangling the kid and just enjoying a nice day in the sun. We were about 5 minutes from the rendezvous when my phone rang- my dad was calling. I figured he was just calling to say he was there, which was half right, but he also mentioned that they were looking at a Vermilion Flycatcher out their windshield at the Nature Center parking lot!! Bonus!!! Abby had seen the red dart fly into a tree right in front of their parking spot- serendipity, baby! Here's the spotter and spottee, respectively:
The bird was quite cooperative, offering great looks as it dived on small moths on the ground from mullein and cottonwood perches. I hope it fully topped off the tummy- a foot or more snow is forecast for tomorrow. It is only the second VEFL I've seen in the state (indeed, it is a review species here), and my reel of pics from the day has better shots than any I've gotten before in TX & AZ. As a birding companion from Australia once commented, What A Crippler! My retinas are blistered by that unbelievable red, a most welcome focal point on a stage of browns and grays.
Starling the Trickster
22 hours ago