You know one of the reasons I don’t particularly like urban birding is that there is always noise in the background. Always. That is why I go to Atterbury FWA. Usually before 10AM the gun range isn’t open and the National Guard isn’t in full swing yet. So most times it is relatively quiet on a Saturday morning. I can actually hear the birds without the sound of man-made noise in the background.
But Colorado National Monument at dawn on a Sunday morning was quiet. Real quiet. For someone who lives in Indianapolis and not that far from I-65, it was eerie quiet.
And the quiet was GREAT!
At first all I could hear were Gambel’s Quail giving their “ka-KAA-ka” call. No cars. No people. No machines. It was a great way to start the trip.
I picked Colorado National Monument for the first day since it was close to Grand Junction and after driving 5 hours the day before I wanted to stay close to town. So as was to be the norm for the trip I was up by 5, made the days PB&J sandwiches, and was out the door to meet the dawn a little before 6. And the quiet.
So here are some of the Western species I observed if not photographed for the first part of the morning – Ash-throated Flycatcher, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Black-throated Sparrow, Bushtit, Canyon Wren, Common Raven, Gambel’s Quail, Lesser Goldfinch, Say’s Phoebe, and Spotted Towhee.
I then decided to be SUPERMAN and make the climb into Ute Canyon figuring there would be a different variety of birds. It was already approaching 90F and clear. A good day for a hike. And I only ended up seeing Plumbous Vireo and Virginia’s Warbler.
The rest of Colorado National Monument was quiet. And this time I mean birds. I took a few scenic photos and headed out around noon.