East Lake 3 Park and Nature Preserve

There’s usually at least one day when we’re visiting the Colorado Websters when everyone is busy.  On days like that, I like to drive a few miles down the road to East Lake 3 Park and Nature Preserve in Thornton to bird where I can count on seeing birds I seldom see at home.

On this trip the first one we saw was a male Blue-Winged Teal, a bird I have only seen once in the Puget Sound area.

male Blue-winged Teal

We didn’t have to walk much further to see a Spotted Sandpiper in the same area where I’ve seen one on previous visits.

Spotted Sandpiper

I can usually count on seeing some American Avocet and found these two particularly intriguing because the one on the right was so much smaller than the one on the left and the two seemed to be together.  I wondered if the smaller one was this year’s chick, but the plumage appears to indicate it’s an adult, not a juvenile.

Avocet with Canada Goose

Studying the avocets did lead me to a nearby sighting, a Killdeer chick with an adult.  

Killdeer Chick

If my memory doesn’t fail me, this is the only place I’ve managed to get shots of Killdeer chicks.

About halfway around the trail, there’s a boardwalk that heads out into a forest of reeds that is full of Red-winged Blackbirds.   This juvenile Redwing seemed as interested in us as we were in him.

juvenile Red-winged Blackbird

The male Red-winged Blackbird seemed more intent on seeing if we were a threat to his kingdom before grudgingly flying off.

There’s a small pond near the end of the walk where you can glimpse ducks and  Avocets up close if you can find a space between the dense reeds that surround the pool

American Avocet

We didn’t see the White Pelicans we’ve seen here in the past but I only noticed that while reflecting on the walk.  I was too busy seeing what was there to worry about what wasn’t there.