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Monday, 27 October 2008

Boulder & Sawhill Ponds on Wednesday 24th September

This day we took a walk from out hotel, on the edge of the ‘city’ of Boulder, into the centre and the Pearl St. Mall. As we walked down the road from our hotel, a Hairy Woodpecker flew across in front of us and landed on a telegraph pole. A short time later we were seeing squirrels (possibly Eastern Fox Squirrel). We then turned the corner and spotted an American Kestrel perched on a distant tree.

Hairy Woodpecker - male

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Eastern Fox Squirrel ???
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American Kestrel - male
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It was not long before we reached the Boulder Creek, which runs through the town. The path alongside the creek is popular with cyclist, joggers, and people getting from A to B. It is also not too bad for birds. We saw American Crow, Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker, American Robin (at a distance), and two birds which I think were probably female Western Tanager.

American Crow
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Northern Flicker - female
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Western Tanager ???
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American Robin
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Hairy Woodpecker - male
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In the afternoon, after a very pleasant lunch, we went out to Sawhill Ponds, which is a noted birding area, just a few miles out of town. We had been told that morning that American White Pelican had been seen there recently. My wife decided to stay in the car whilst I explored, so I felt that I could not spend too long here.

I soon found Bullfrogs, and then put up a splendid Belted Kingfisher (no photo) which flew away very noisily. Further on, I found a Snowy Egret, and American Wigeon. My route then took me away from the water for a while, and I found another Northern Flicker. Regaining the water, my heart leaped as I found a solitary Killdeer (although a quite common bird in these parts). I had already been gone longer than the hour that I said I would be so headed back towards the car. I found another Northern Flicker – the first and only male I was to see of this species, and too distant and into the sun to get more than a record shot. Just before getting back to the car I came upon what I believe to be Blue-winged Teal.

Bullfrog
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Snowy Egret
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American Wigeon
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Northern Flicker - female
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Killdeer
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Blue-winged Teal ?

I was not in too much trouble when I returned, and that evening we went up into the Front Range - the low mountains above Boulder which are the start of the Rocky Mountains. Here we found a flock of eight Turkey Vultures circling ominously, high above the town, but at our eye level.

Turkey Vulture
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Colorado Chipmunk

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