It’s been four months since my December Colorado trip. And I’ll be going again in two months to run two BBS Routes. Even though I have enough photos for a few more posts it’s time to wrap it up and present my Western Colorado final thoughts.
Like other trips I’ll do a final post on thoughts from the trip. And like those reports these are in no order.
- Early December is probably not the best time to go birding in Western Colorado if you’re after a large species count. But since I wanted to check out the BBS routes and I had the time, I went. Plus, as I have stated it is going to be one of three areas I hope to come to know and bird repeatedly.
- Next time I’m flying direct. For an extra $200 I can fly direct into Grand Junction and pick up an extra day of birding. On future summer trips I might fly into Denver and bird my way across the state. But on winter trips I’ll fly direct and not have to fight the mountain passes.
- The drive back to Denver was rough. As stated above I’ll forgo looking for birds on the way not to worry about the drive. I have driven in the worst Midwest snowstorms but never at 10,000 feet with trucks going up and down on the mountain passes. Not again.
- This was my first time flying on Frontier and had no problems on either flight. The only catch are limited flights from Indianapolis to Denver. And Alamo Rent-A-Car was good for the second straight trip. Will use both again without hesitation.
- The next non-June trip will be timed to coincide with migration of raptors and before the snow comes to the mountains. There is a good movement of raptors along the west edge of the Rockies I’d like to see.
- For you listers, I saw 62 species on the trip of which 23 were new Colorado species and 5 life birds. In June I’ll probably spend some time looking for rarer species up in the mountains.
- I proved I like to bird one area and get to know it versus traveling all day from spot to spot. And flying direct will add another day of birding the area.
- Still no Golden Eagle. But I’m sure one will fly by eventually.
- The zoom feature of the Nikon P900 camera proved I don’t need to lug along a spotting scope. For distant views it worked well to ID species.
- I saw other wildlife outside of birds. Rabbits, a lone fox, and a deer couple which scared the @(*%& out of me.
- Weather was great for December outside of the mountain passes on the drive back. Lows in teens, highs in the 40’s. Very light snow
- Accomplished the main goal of checking out Douglas Pass for the June Breeding Bird Survey trip. It should be interesting running the survey from the start in scrub land and working my way over a mountain pass.
- As I stated in a couple of previous posts I need to learn status and distribution for the area better. The number of Ruby-crowned Kinglets still surprises me.
- And as always every hour had highlights but the American Dipper was probably the best since it was totally unexpected.