My Summer Vacation, a Drive to Denver #2

The next day, we hit the road to the last stop before Denver. For the first few hours, we saw very little that we hadn’t already seen. And then, just before lunch, my Dad pulled over to photograph a smallish, black bird. At the time, I didn’t think to much of it – it was probably just a Brewer’s or a Grackle. Nine days and many photo examinations later had me thinking differently. It was a Lark Bunting!

Lark Bunting
The Lark Bunting was far away and required our new super-zoom camera, a Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, to get this shot.

Nothing more happened for awhile, but when things did happen, they brought numbers! Birds filled the landscape, darting in and out from shrubs, perching on wires and generally making it clear that they were there. There was no apparent flock, but the birds were obviously all the same species. Speckled breasts, yellow eyes with black pupils and down-curving bills all amounted up to Sage Thrasher.

Sage Thrasher
Sage Thrasher

The thrasher domination lasted almost until the little lake that we had scheduled a stop at.  Saratoga Wetlands was a huge bird attraction in the parched scrubland that surrounded it. There were Barn Swallows, Redheads, Marsh Wrens and many others among them. In the little shelter over looking the area, a Barn Swallow’s nest had fallen, killing two out of the four fledgelings in it. The living two were huddled by the wall, obviously older than their dead siblings.

Barn Swallow
The swallows

High above us, American Pelicans circled in perfect formation.

American White Pelican
American White Pelicans

American White Pelican

Our campsite that night was supposed to be a flat one, and my mother didn’t want to be cold again, so we stayed in a motel. Wednesday was the day that we departed. Stopping at Laramie for lunch, I noticed that a small creek ran by, just through the large, leafy trees.  Determined to find an entrance, I scanned the row of trees and soon found an opening. The creek was bigger than I had first thought, with a whole load of Common Grackles and Cliff Swallows around. Two Western Wood-Pewees called out and some American Robins flew through the afore-mentioned trees.

American Robin
American Robin

We had tickets for a show at Red-rocks Ampitheatre that night, so I wasn’t expecting to see anything other than, maybe, House Sparrows – wrong again! As everybody was taking their seats, I noticed some large, swallow-like birds flying around the cliffs. Further examination proved that they were White-throated Swifts.

This is the chunk of rock that the swifts were flying around. See if you can spot one!












I will tell you more later, so stay with me!

3 thoughts on “My Summer Vacation, a Drive to Denver #2”

  1. I am enjoying your blog and reading about the birds you saw. Can’t wait to see you. Then you can report that you spotted 2 Grey Headed Chicks.

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