SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Monday, October 08, 2007

Black-bellied Plovers at Blue Lake

Today was a beautiful, mild fall day with temps going into the 70's throughout the lower elevation parts of southeast Colorado. I drove down to the La Junta/Las Animas areas to see what birds were about. At Blue Lake (aka Adobe Creek Lake, which lies in part in both Las Animas and Kiowa Counties)I ran into a flock of 12 Black-bellied Plovers evidently making a stop-over on their migration south.

I really almost ran into them as I was driving on the canal bank from the dam when I spotted them only about 40 feet away. They looked as surprised to see me as I was to see them (though this may just be an artifact of the size of their eyes which are large proportionally to their heads, giving that "deer in the headlights" appearance). I stopped and stayed quite still. Though they moved away at first, they soon accommodated to my presence and approached to within about 25-30 feet as they went about their foraging.The lower pic is an enlargement of the head of the bird in the upper pic. Though birds in juvenal plumage are similar, I believe this is an adult in Basin plumage (though there may be a few feathers that have not been replaced from Alternate plumage-this plumage stuff does get rather esoteric). More of these later, SeEtta


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