Swainson Hawks

Logan and I got up early Wednesday to explore a new area, an area I’d gone to once two years ago. Unfortunately, birding wasn’t nearly as good this time as it was then, either because it was a different time of day or different time of year.

We saw more mammals than birds, but the only one I managed to get a picture of was this bunny rabbit:

young rabbit

The day would have been pretty much of a bust if we hadn’t spotted these Swainson Hawks at the very end:

pair of Swainson Hawks

But the fact that this one stuck around to tell me that I was far too close definitely made the day.

Swainson Hawk

Hanging Out in Colorado

One of the neat things about visiting Tyson and his family in Colorado is that I don’t have to go anywhere special to see birds and animals I don’t see in Tacoma, or Washington, for that matter.

Although we have Mourning Doves in Washington, I rarely see them, but here they’re nearly impossible to miss.

Mourning Dove

While kestrels are not nearly as common as Mourning Doves, they’re not that hard to find, though they’re hard to get close to.


The prairie dogs are actually quite annoying, but I never see them at home.

Prairie Dog

I didn’t think I’d ever seen this bird before, but after considerable research I decided it was really just a juvenile American Coot.

juvenile American Coot

Turquoise Lake, Colorado

On my first full day in Colorado, Tyson and Jen took me to Turquoise Lake, part of the San Isabel National Forest. Luckily temperatures were relatively cool, because I was still adjusting to the altitude, and even 2 miles seemed like more than enough.

We didn’t spot anything rare, but it was exciting seeing birds and animals I don’t usually see. Logan


insisted that we explore the full nature trail, and I’ll have to admit that I learned a lot from doing so.

On our first walk-through Logan and I spotted a Hairy Woodpecker.

Hairy Woodpecker

We noticed a considerable number of chipmunks


and elusive Red Squirrels, a variety I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.

Red Squirrel

but the shot of the day, if not the year, had to be this one of a Pine Martin that Jen spotted

Pine Marten

It’s certainly not a great shot because I never could get a good head shot, but it was still a thrill seeing one. Great way to start a week-long vacation.