Archivos de diario de febrero 2024

21 de febrero de 2024

Great Backyard Bird Count 2024

This year my girlfriend and I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count. We were already in Estes Park on Saturday and Sunday, snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park. We saw two mountain chickadees while we were up there.

On Monday, February 19th, the last day of the event, we went to Castlewood Canyon State Park, which is one of the best places near where I live to see a wide variety of birds. We started at the north end of the park around four o'clock and made our way towards the canyon rim, but turned back due to lots of mud and the fact that we weren't seeing a lot of birds towards that area.

However, in the roughly two hours we spent looking for birds we ended up tallying American robins, woodpeckers (either Hairy or Downy, I'm not sure which), dark-eyed juncos, a black-capped chickadee, spotted towhees, a Townsends's solitaire, and a red-tailed hawk.

Other birds that we did not see but which I have seen before in the park included turkeys, turkey vultures, ravens, and Stellar's jays.

We did end up seeing a bunch of mule deer at the edge of the park on our way home, which although are obviously not birds are still great to see, especially in the soft February evening light.

Publicado el febrero 21, 2024 02:35 MAÑANA por mhughes26 mhughes26 | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de febrero de 2024

Porcupine Sightings and Mud Tracks

There is a porcupine (North American Porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum) that lives in a culvert in an part of Castle Rock that I visit sometimes to take the dog for a walk. The first time I saw this porcupine was a little over a year ago. In fact, I have been documenting him (or her, I really don't know) on iNaturalist for the past year whenever I see him. Below are the links to those observations:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/143054720
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/144618693
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/149146373
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/154006925

And finally today's observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/200319890

This porcupine seems to be habituated to the constant stream of bikers and dog-walkers that regularly pass. The culvert that it is currently making its home in is not very far away from a concrete bike path that many people (myself included) frequent. Also, at one point there was a lot more dense vegetation surrounding this culvert (including lots of sunflowers), but somebody mowed it all down. Fortunately, other residents of this neighborhood seem to also know about the porcupine and have affectionately named him Patrick. Patrick, the neighborhood porcupine!

While walking the dog (who thankfully was completely oblivious to the porcupine), I ended up seeing several other signs of wildlife, including tracks of wild turkeys and what I think might have been a raccoon. There is a lot of disturbed soil in this area due to construction and the snow has been melting which has made a lot of areas very muddy. These conditions have led to lots of wildlife tracks.

Towards the end of the walk I saw some sort of wolf spider and then finally a red-tailed hawk that was eating some small animal (probably a rodent). When I approached the hawk to try and get a better photo (because the zoom lens on my camera phone leaves much to be desired) it of course flew away but I did see some blood on the post where it had been feeding.

With the end of February approaching the days are definitely getting longer and I passed several wetland areas on this walk that I think will be good areas to try and search for frogs and toads this coming spring and summer.

Publicado el febrero 25, 2024 12:56 MAÑANA por mhughes26 mhughes26 | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario