We returned to the same desert canyon as yesterday just after daybreak and found more birds than on our previous visit. A Green-tailed Towhee showed well, as did Mountain Bluebird, a recently arrived Ash-throated Flycatcher, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher and a Chukar for Keith.
Leaving here we headed up into the mountains. With snow all around we notched up a pair of Red-naped Sapsuckers, Slate-coloured Fox Sparrow, Grey Jay, female Pine Grosbeak, and a Red-breasted Nuthatch. And the views were to die for!
Dropping lower we found a pair of stunning Lewis’s Woodpeckers in the warm sunshine before calling into Subway for lunch.
A short drive took us to our motel in Montrose where we had a siesta before heading out to the Black Canyon of Gunnison and our date with Sooty Grouse. After a bit of a search we found one bird skulking in the shadows but were totally underprepared for the displaying male we encountered nearby. He was really bold and stared at us before displaying just a few metres away, right in front of us. It was a totally amazing performance and another major tour highlight that will live long in our memories.