Red Rocks Lake - Brainard Recreation Area


Boulder, CO & Surroundings 
26-31 July 2005
by Henry Detwiler

I took advantage of a training class in Boulder to explore the area more, visiting Brainard Recreation Area and Rocky Mt. National Park.  
species -- bird list is at the bottom of the page
Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized photos.   

The afternoon I arrived it was quite cool, but the days gradually warmed up into the 80's.  Long days meant that I could escape to the mountains after class.  The first afternoon was the only time I actually visited lowland sites:  Walden Ponds and Barr Lake State Park.
Dark-eyed Junco - Brainard Recreation Area

Long Lake - Brainard Recreation Area
I spent two late afternoons and evenings at Brainard Recreation Area, the site of many beautiful lakes and Mt. Audubon.  Beautiful trails and lots of birds (juncos, jays, thrushes, warblers and chickadees) were the order of the day.
No matter where I went, flowers were blooming in profusion.  From the fields around Boulder to the tundra at the mountain tops.  The columbines on the right were seen on the way up the Mt. Audubon trail.


Colorado Columbines
Brainard Recreation Area

Brainard Recreation Area



There were many trails to choose from.  This trail to Long Lake went through some swampy areas (note the boards), and had lots of flowers.

American Dipper - Boulder Creek

Along part of the old Boulder Creek road, I found a pair of American Dippers feeding above and below the water line.

American Dipper family

They spent a good part of their time under an old bridge, so I took a peek. There I saw a big round nest with two gaping mouths looking back at me.  They weren't shy at all when Mama came back to feed them.

Peeling Bark - Brainard Recreation Area

The bark on this pine (or juniper) reminded me of the bristlecone pines I'd seen years before in western Nevada.  It glowed a beautiful tan in the filtered light.


In Yuma, we see lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers in the winter; it was great to see them here in their breeding plumage.  And just like at home, they weren't a bit shy here, either.  This one, as well as others, came quite close to investigate my "pishing".  

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Brainard Recreation Area

Clark's Nutcrackers
Brainard Recreation Area

On Friday afternoon I climbed up the trail to Mt. Audubon and topped out on the tundra overlooking Long and Brainard Lakes.  Here the birds were White-crowned Sparrows, American Pipits, and this unlikely trio of Clark's Nutcrackers (the 3rd one was fly catching).  


ON to PAGE 2

Northern Colorado, 26-31 July 2005
# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 American White Pelican
3 Double-crested Cormorant
4 Great Blue Heron
5 Snowy Egret
6 Black-crowned Night Heron
7 Canada Goose
8 Mallard
9 Osprey
10 Bald Eagle
11 Swainson's Hawk
12 Red-tailed Hawk
13 American Kestrel
14 White-tailed Ptarmigan
15 Killdeer
16 Marbled Godwit
17 Least Sandpiper
18 Long-billed Dowitcher
19 Turkey Vulture
20 Franklin's Gull
21 Ring-billed Gull
22 Forster's Tern
23 Rock Pigeon
24 Mourning Dove
25 Common Nighthawk
26 Broad-tailed Hummingbird
27 Belted Kingfisher
28 Red-naped Sapsucker
29 Downy Woodpecker
30 Hairy Woodpecker
31 Northern Flicker
32 Western Wood Pewee
33 Dusky Flycatcher
34 Cordilleran Flycatcher
35 Western Kingbird
36 Eastern Kingbird
37 Plumbeous Vireo
38 Warbling Vireo
39 Gray Jay
40 Stellar's Jay
41 Blue Jay
42 Western Scrub Jay
43 Clark's Nutcracker
44 Black-billed Magpie
45 American Crow
46 Common Raven


# Species
47 Tree Swallow
48 Violet-green Swallow
49 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
50 Barn Swallow
51 Black-capped Chickadee
52 Mountain Chickadee
53 Red-breasted Nuthatch
54 White-breasted Nuthatch
55 Pygmy Nuthatch
56 Brown Creeper
57 House Wren
58 American Dipper
59 Golden-crowned Kinglet
60 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
61 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
62 Western Bluebird
63 Townsend's Solitaire
64 Veery
65 Hermit Thrush
66 American Robin
67 Gray Catbird
68 Northern Mockingbird
69 European Starling
70 American Pipit
71 Cedar Waxwing
72 Wilson's Warbler
73 Yellow Warbler
74 Yellow-rumped Warbler
75 Common Yellowthroat
76 Macgillivray's Warbler
77 Western Tanager
78 Spotted Towhee
79 Chipping Sparrow
80 Lark Bunting
81 Song Sparrow
82 Lincoln's Sparrow
83 White-crowned Sparrow
84 Dark-eyed Junco
85 Lazuli Bunting
86 Red-winged Blackbird
87 Western Meadowlark
88 Common Grackle
89 Bullock's Oriole
90 House Finch
91 Red Crossbill
92 American Goldfinch
93 House Sparrow

Photos Henry Detwiler