Denver, Colorado area 
Aug 9-10, 2001
Stormy, cold front, 40-72 

An afternoon up to Mt. Evans and a few hours at Chatfield State Park.  This first page is from the 9th, with pictures from Mt. Evans.
65 species total

Click on the thumbnail pictures for full-sized ones.

Looking west towards the mountains were massive thunderclouds, threatening to roll down onto Denver and engulf it.  The clouds were thick and black, and an intermittent rain started up as I began my ascent into the Rockies.  Just past Idaho City, at the beginning of the  uphill climb to Mt Evans I hiked a bit along a beautiful creek, finding Black-capped Chickadee, House Wren, and Cordilleran Flycatcher.


Echo Lake at 10,000'


Mallards at Echo Lake
In the forest surrounding Echo Lake were  Calliope Hummingbird,  Red-naped Sapsucker, White-breasted & Red-Breasted nuthatches, Mountain Chickadees, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Clarke's Nutcrackers, and both Stellar's and Gray Jays.
     

Bristlecone Pines
At the tree line were Bristlecone Pines, with their gnarled branches and tiny needles.  The only birds were Dark-eyed Juncos and White-crowned Sparrows.  From here on up was nothing but tundra, with lots of beautiful flowers.  Earlier in the day it had hailed, and patches of it were still in evidence.

Bighorn Sheep
    
Bighorn sheep came out onto the road looking for handouts, causing traffic to come to a dead stop.  Later that day I also spotted mountain goats, but they stayed high up off the road..
    

A variety of flowers blanketed the tundra!

      

Thunderclouds over the front range

    
At Summit Lake, elevation 12,280', I looked in vain for Brown-capped Rosy Finch.  Although I'd seen them there several years ago, I had no luck this afternoon.  I did see many beautiful flowers and dramatic scenery.  I also got light-headed as I hiked up from the lake--the altitude really started to effect me!

Summit Lake

    


Water Pipit
      
      
The most common bird throughout the alpine country was the American/Water Pipit.  Flocks of them would flit about, and I'd always check them out hoping to find they'd be finches.
Numerous yellow-bellied marmots and pikas squeaked and grunted from their rocky lairs; always watchful.


The same one!


Yellow-bellied Marmot
      
I was lucky that the thunderclouds never dumped on me the whole time I was up on the mountain.  It provided spectacular lightning displays all around, and up on the mountaintop it was very windy and cold.  Good thing it was August!  
     

Thunderclouds over Denver
On the way back down through Idaho City I stopped to watch a feeder setup at a cabin along the road.  Dozens of Broad-tailed and a single Rufous Hummingbird were enjoying the sugar water as I watched contentedly.  

CHATFIELD STATE PARK

 
# Species Name
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Western Grebe
3 White Pelican
4 Double-crested Cormorant
5 Black-crowned Night Heron
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Common Merganser
8 Mallard
9 Canada Goose
10 Piping Plover
11 Killdeer
12 Baird's Sandpiper
13 Least Sandpiper
14 Spotted Sandpiper
15 Ring-billed Gull
16 California Gull
17 Bald Eagle
18 Mourning Dove
19 Rock Dove
20 Calliope Hummingbird
21 Broad-tailed Hummingbird
22 Rufous Hummingbird
23 Belted Kingfisher
24 Downy Woodpecker
25 Northern Flicker
26 Red-naped Sapsucker
27 Eastern Kingbird
28 Eastern Phoebe
29 W. Wood Pewee
30 Western Kingbird
31 Violet-green Swallow
32 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
 
 
# Species Name
33 Clark's Nutcracker
34 Black-billed Magpie
35 Blue Jay
36 Gray Jay
37 Common Raven
38 Stellar's Jay
39 Mountain Chickadee
40 Black-capped Chickadee
41 Brown Creeper
42 White-breasted Nuthatch
43 Red-breasted Nuthatch
44 House Wren
45 American Robin
46 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
47 American Pipit
48 Yellow Warbler
49 Common Yellowthroat
50 Yellow-rumped Warbler
51 Red-winged Blackbird
52 Fox Sparrow
53 White-crowned Sparrow
54 Lark Sparrow
55 Dark-eyed Junco
56 Chipping Sparrow
57 Spotted Towhee
58 Song Sparrow
59 Indigo Bunting
60 Blue Grosbeak
61 Pine Siskin
62 American Goldfinch
63 Evening Grosbeak
64 House Finch
65 Lesser Goldfinch


CHATFIELD STATE PARK
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Photos Henry D. Detwiler

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