Saturday, March 27, 2010

Start of Week 13

We were up early again this morning so that we would be at the gunnison sage grouse lek by dawn. Unfortunately it was snowing which made for poor visibililty. We spent an hour and a half scanning the lek area but found no grouse. So we pointed the tacoma back towards Denver. We traveled thru a beautiful canyon along the South Platte River, seeing an american dipper (photo above--click on it to enlarge) on our way towards the small mountain town of Sedalia. Our goal was to locate an american three-toed woodpecker. We parked near a burn area and listened for the quiet tapping of this woodpecker. We tracked down a female within 10 minutes, and had very good close up looks at it.

We stopped in Sedalia at Bud's Bar to try their cheese burger. It arrived at our table on a bun that was steamed in the final cook process. On the side were white onion and pickle, and a bag of Lay's chips. We added salt, pepper and mustard, and enjoyed this simple burger which was cooked medium rare. We then drove to a neighboring town and found a second woodpecker for the day--a Lewis's. The Lewis's and 3 toed are 2 of the more challenging woodpeckers to locate, so this made for a much better day after having missed the gunnison sage grouse earlier.

We stopped next in a suburb of Denver to look for a barrow's goldeneye that had been reported from a lake in a greenbelt. We strolled thru the greenbelt, getting very close looks at several waterfowl including a pair of barrow's, and several common goldeneyes. We also searched for a rusty blackbird that had been reported from the same place but struck out on it.

We then drove on up to Boulder to stay with friends. We went to eat at a restaurant named 4580. The dishes included an appetizer of fried gnocchi with greens; asparagus caesar salad with a quail egg, crispy lemon, and shaved pecorino cheese; mussels in a smoked tomato, fennel and lobster broth; tortellini with a bolognese sauce made from bison, lamb and chorizo; and duck 3 ways--confit, sausage and breast--with white bean ragu and sauted greens. Dessert was a flourless chocolate torte, and a polenta tart with strawberries and whipped cream. We drank a bottle of Brancott '07 pinot grigio and a '06 Hitching Post pinot noir. Everyone greatly enjoyed their food, and the company.

So the new week begins with 35 birds seen of which 3 were new birds for the year, bringing the YTD total to 414. Tomorrow we will bird our way out to Wray, CO where on Sunday we will be visiting a blind set up at a greater prairie chicken lek. Stay tuned!


  1. Sounds like a fabulous meal in Boulder. We may have to return in June!

  2. Chris,
    The American Dipper was for a long time one of the birds I most hoped to see. Then one day on a trip to CO I saw 4 of them playing in a stream and jumping from bank to bank chasing each other, so delightful. Looks like you made good progress this week.

  3. So great to have you here in Boulder!!! Come back soon!

  4. Hello Chris, Ran into C Kay at Whole Foods and she clued me into this. Very cool trip/adventure. I'm jealous. Spot number 13, in the Sonoran desert east of San Diego, I'd like to be there anytime! Happy trails! Will