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Monday, 27 October 2008

Boulder Trails & Mud Lake on Thursday 25th September

This day we followed some advice from Boulder wildlife man ‘Coyote Bob’, given a couple of months before our visit, and took a trail from Chautauqua Park. We had been told that there was a chance of seeing bears, and indeed a notice at the start of the trail warned us that bears had been seen recently from this trail, and advising us that we might want to take one of the other numerous trails instead. Coyote Bob had advised us that no one had ever come to any harm from bears in this area, but that you should know what to do in case you found one. I was armed with a very loud whistle.

The Flatirons from McLintock Trail

The walk proved to be a real disappointment. Virtually no birds were seen and this trail and another running parallel to it were populated with joggers conversing loudly with each other, and people calling to their dogs that were off the leash – enough to frighten off any birds, and bears, for that matter! We soon found this to be a feature of trails in the area – recreation rather than nature. We did find a relatively quiet trail running between two others, and saw Steller’s Jay (not photographed), Red-tailed Hawk, and Black-billed Magpie.

Black-billed Magpie

From here we went further up Flagstaff Road, where we found Abert’s Squirrel (I think!), Mountain Chickadee (record shot), Steller’s Jay (not photographed), Red-breasted Nuthatch (record shot only), some LBJs, and Mule Deer.

view from Flagstaff Road

Abert's Squirrel

Mule Deer

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Mountain Chickadee

Having gone to Ward (some distance away) for lunch, we headed out on the Peak-to-Peak Highway, and found a nature reserve at Mud Lake. Little was seen here in the way of bird life, although there was one bird making a racket in a tree high above me. It took a time to find it, and when I did, there was not enough visible for me to identify it, but I think it may have been a female American Robin. I did manage a distant shot of Pie-billed Grebe which had young in attendance.

Pied-billed Grebe

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