Our last day in Estes Park. I really didn’t want to leave. There was so much to explore!
Dia said she wanted to sleep in. So Scarlett and I headed out very early to go birding in Moraine Park where I had seen so many birds before. It was a gorgeous morning. And when I arrived at the trail head, there was birdsong everywhere. Yay!
The trail I chose crossed a creek flowing through the meadow and headed for a rock outcropping with large pines and oaks. I figured this would give me a bigger variety of species to look for with the range of habitat available.
My first bird sighting was a Lincoln’s Sparrow. I could hear him singing among some dead trees along the creek. But it took me forever to spot him. He was very camouflaged among the dead branches.
Up ahead on the little bridge crossing the creek I saw several American Crows enjoying the morning sun.
Soon I was at the treeline edge. Lots of birds here. There were many House Wrens busy flitting here and there so it was a challenge to get a decent pic.
While photographing the wrens, a pair of juvenile Williamson’s Sapsuckers came over to check me out.
A White-Breasted Nuthatch was busy feeding above me.
I saw several Northern Flickers. For the most part they stayed a ways away. I did manage to get a decent pic of one before it saw me and took off.
Then I saw a quick peek of yellow. At first I thought it might be a warbler, but when I finally got a good look at it, I realized it was a young male Western Tanager. Always a pleasure to see!
A cute little bunny was feeding next to the trail. I always think they are so adorable.
All of a sudden Scarlett let out a low growl. I saw where she was looking and realized there was a coyote in the meadow. It decided it didn’t want anything to do with Scarlett, so it quickly headed off deeper into the meadow. He was between me and the morning sun, so I didn’t get a great pic. But I always love seeing coyotes. For some reason, Scarlett always growls when she sees one. That’s a good thing I guess!
There were several hummingbirds about. I believe they were all Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds. In that same area where we saw the coyote, there was a patch of Bee Balm. I love these flowers. Such unusual blooms and hummingbirds love them. I managed to catch one feeding but that low morning sun didn’t make for very good photos. Sigh….
Further up the trail I saw a LBB (little brown bird). That’s usually how I end up identifying sparrows when you can’t get a good enough look at them. This one caught my attention because it had two wing feathers sticking out funny. 🙂
I only got one butterfly photo the whole trip. There were wildflowers everywhere but very few butterflies.
There were squirrels everywhere. This park has a healthy population of a large variety of squirrels and chipmunks. I almost didn’t see this chipmunk as it blended very well with the rock it was sitting on.
To my delight a Steller’s Jay landed nearby and the sun was behind me! 🙂 This one looks to be a young one starting to get more adult plumage.
Out in the meadow I saw a flock of Red-Winged and Brewer’s Blackbirds feeding on the grass seeds.
I saw many American Robins while in the park, but I only managed to get one good photo of one.
As I was getting into my car to leave, I got one last photo of a Black-Billed Magpie. I love these birds. I’m so glad I was able to see so many of them and get some nice photos.
I was sad to leave the park. I am definitely coming back again in the future!
Dia called me as I was heading back to town. I asked her where she was. Where else?!? Starbucks! So I met her there and we enjoyed sitting by the river that runs through Estes Park. Such a beautiful town.
Before I end this trip, I thought I would share some of the fun and silly photos we took over the weekend. 🙂