Another Colorado Outing

Grandpa got one more family outing in Colorado, this time a level one around several lakes at Pella Crossing. Despite the heat, I was determined to take my new camera and birding lens. Luckily after nearly a week, my blood oxygen was finally beginning to return to normal.

Although we didn’t see a lot of birds, I was glad that Sydney spotted this Osprey diving into the lake and that I was able to get a shot of it returning to its nest with its catch.

I’m sure Jen was glad to see this While Pelican, probably her favorite bird.

A pair of vultures

even checked us, or the nearby parachutists, out. It’s the first time I can remember seeing vultures in Colorado.

Birding and Fishing

I’ve long said that fishing and birding are quite similar. So, when Logan wanted to go fishing I volunteered to take him, even though I no longer fish, and haven’t done so for years. Logan told me that he would try to choose sites that had both fish and birds.

He even spotted my first two birds, this Double-Crested Cormorant

and this Kestrel.

Unfortunately, his first location didn’t have many birds or fish, so he directed me to a larger pond a few miles away where we both had a little more luck.

After seeing my first-ever Long-Tailed Grackle in Utah a few weeks before, I thought I had caught my second look at one. Turns out I was wrong. According to Merlin, this was a Common Grackle, another bird I rarely see living in the PNW.

This Pelican that we saw as we approached the lake was probably proof that there were fish to be caught.

The shot of the day, though, was this shot of a Swainson’s Hawk.

I thought the shot I’d captured of a Swainson’s Hawk flying overhead at Malheur a few weeks before was as good as I’d ever get, but this hawk refused to fly away even when I approached closer than I normally would. Considering it was perched just above a busy sidewalk, it appeared largely indifferent to humans.

Colorado Wild Flowers

I love to hike wherever I go, but I knew when we decided to hike above Boulder right after we arrived that I wasn’t going to be up to carrying my heavy birding equipment, not at that altitude and not at that temperature. So I carried my trusty Canon SX 60 HS, which I bought precisely for such hikes.

We saw a few birds but the 60HS is nearly impossible to focus on moving birds, so I didn’t manage to get any bird photos. Luckily, there were more than enough flowers to keep me busy. I’m definitely not as good at identifying flowers as I am at identifying birds, but a flower without a name seems just as beautiful as a flower with a name.

I’m always surprised by the wide variety of flowers I see in the Colorado Rockies. yellow flowers seemed to hold sway on this visit.

I’d never seen flowers quite like this, but they seemed to thrive in these hills.

They were quite different from this flower that looked like it would grow quite successfully in the Pacific Northwest.

I suspect I have seen these purple flowers in the Cascades,

but I’ve only seen flowers like these in the Mojave Desert.