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

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tunnel Drive area of Canon City

There have been reports of a Golden-crowned Sparrow, a rare species here, being seen the Tunnel Drive area on the far west end of Canon City. There was a Golden-crowned Sparrow in the same location last year and I saw it then by the parking area. I didn't have much opportunity to look for it or for the Rufous-crowned Sparrows that are resident there as a city employee who knows who I am stopped me to complain about birders accessing the trail which is closed for repairs. I did however find the Ladder-backed Woodpecker in this poor quality pic (the bird was almost a 100 feet away and had an overcast sky behind it). The black & white barring over its upperparts, plus the black facial stripes that are field marks can be seen in the pic when it's enlarged and I believe there is red on it's forehead designating it as a male. Ladder-backed Woodpeckers are rarely seen here, usually not every year and usually only one in a year's time. This species has been found in two other areas of this county, Fremont County, are at best uncommon. They can be found in other parts of southeast Colorado more often (such as Cottonwood Canyon in far SE Colorado).

At the Tunnel Drive area I heard a Rock Wren, a species not found in many parts of Colorado in winter but there is at least one bird most winters at this location. I saw 2 American Dippers in the nearby Arkansas River and Canon Towhees, a species common in this location. I was surprised to see a Northern Harrier working up and down the area (it was working up the mountain which is fairly rugged and no real fields west of here for some miles). This seemed strange to me as there aren't really any large expanses of fields anywhere in this area. It did scatter a few birds when it dipped down toward a rocky slope where they were. SeEtta


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