Bird Sanctuary at Estes Park

House Wren in Estes Park, Colorado

August 24, 2018

This morning, we went in search of moose.  We went to Brainard Lake near the Indian Peaks Wilderness.  We did not see any moose, so we hiked to Long Lake.  We didn’t see any moose, but the views were incredible.  Of course, Regis and I both had long lenses on our cameras and I forgot my cell phone, so we have no pictures of the amazing views.

After our short hike in this air which is significantly lacking in oxygen, I left Dart and Regis at the motor home and went to the Bird Sanctuary near the Estes Park Lake.  My first encounter was with two snakes fornicating.

Two snakes. The only snake in Rocky Mountain National Park is the Garter Snake and we are in Estes Park, right outside the park. Therefore, I believe these are Garter Snakes. If you look closely, there are two heads. They were in the grass, so it was tough to get a photo.
Garter Snake in Estes Park, Colorado.
Possibly a female Red-winged Blackbird Estes Park, Colorado
Robin in Estes Park, Colorado
Duck in Estes Park, Colorado. (Two bird books and I can’t figure out what kind)
House Wren in Estes Park, Colorado
Mountain Chickadee in Estes Park, Colorado.
Estes Park, Colorado (I think this might be a female Brown-headed Cowbird)
Eating berries in Estes Park, Colorado. (Regis and I have looked in two bird books and can’t figure out what this bird is.)
Barn Swallows in Estes Park, Colorado.

If anyone can identify the birds that I can’t, please let me know and I will update this post.  It’s amazing that neither Regis or I can identify some of them with two different bird guides!

Watching Wildlife

One of the things I enjoy doing the most is watching wildlife.  Yesterday, we watched a gull go clamming.  The gull was chest deep in water and you could tell the gull was doing something with his feet.  We guessed he was clamming.  He was successful in getting a clam and then flew up over the rocks and had to drop it three times before it broke open.

0617 Duck with chicks 2 (1 of 2)
Red-Breasted Merganser and chicks.

Later in the day, we saw this mother Red-Breasted Merganser with her chicks.  Click here for a short video.

0617 Duck with chicks (1 of 1)
Red-Breasted Merganser with chicks feeding.

It was rainy yesterday so I went to the National Park bookstore.  Regis mistakenly allowed me to go alone.  When I piled up all the books on the counter for purchase, the teller asked me if I was a teacher.  There were so many cool books to buy.  I only bought six.   I bought a field guide to New England and identified the crab from the picture I posted the other day.  It is a Green crab.

There was someone driving around the campground last evening selling home-made pies.  We got slices of Blueberry pie.  Yum!