We visited some nearby feeders in a residential area after a leisurely 7am breakfast and this proved to be a great visit as there were at least 2 male Pine Grosbeaks and at leas one female present in the surrounding trees.
One male was particularly obliging as he came down to a roadside puddle to drink right in front of us. A few Red Crossbils were also particularly pleasing to some of our group as they were of the ‘ponderosa pine’ race.
At least 12 Brown-capped Rosy-Finches were here, a couple of Grey-crowned Rosy-Finches, Cassin’s Finch, along with Pygmy Nuthatch (although the views couldn’t beat the ones outside our motel earlier this morning), Steller’s and Grey Jays and a posing Clarke’s Nutcracker.
We then headed up into the snow-covered mountains to Loveland Pass, where after what seemed an eternal half an hour search, we finally caught up with White-tailed Ptarmigan. One bird was seen down to around a metre feeding in front of us. It was totally oblivious to our presence and literally ran up to us, through us, around us before finding a suitable patch of dwarf-scrub willow to feed on before heading up the hill and away. What an experience and the undoubted highlight of the tour.
Leaving here in high spirits we drove to the foothills after swapping our warm weather gear for lighter clothing back at the motel. We searched the conifer forests in vain before heading to Red Rocks where a posing male Broad-tailed Hummingbird displayed all around us from his various song posts along the road. Apart from American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Lincoln’s Sparrow and a couple of Orange-crowned Warblers….
In the late afternoon a quick visit to the local water treatment works resulted in sightings of 2 Western Ospreys on nests and both Audubon’s and Myrtle Warblers to round off a great day.