American Pipit at Mt. Evans


Denver Area
July 20-27, 2003
- narrated by Henry Detwiler
101 species total (see list on Page 1)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Pine Grosbeak at Echo Lake

A quick trip up to Mt. Evans held more surprises.  At 10,000’-high Echo Lake I found my first Pine Grosbeak of the year, calling plaintively.  Both yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets were feeding young.

Summit Lake at Mt. Evans - 12,000'

Hiking around Summit Lake  I stumbled upon another pair of White-tailed Ptarmigan, and couldn’t help but take another 25 shots.  The whole tundra was alive with flowers, but the ptarmigan seemed partial to the buttercups.  I tried to snap pictures of the bird next to some of the yellow flowers, but if I wasn’t quick, it would chomp down on the head of the flower, and decapitate it in one smooth motion.
Tundra Wildflowers - Elephanthead, Rosecrown, and Stonecrop

Baby American Pipit at Mt. Evans
American Pipits were ubiquitous, many of them caring for and protecting their young.  This baby stayed perfectly still, pretending to be camouflaged by the grass.

Some of the numerous flowers in the forest and tundra were bluebells, elephanthead, harebells, buttercups, horsemint, and rosecrown--a beautiful show.

Mt. Evans meadow

Rich and I joined forces once more on Saturday. He said that Trumpeter Swans are breeding successfully in several areas around Denver.  This family was at a lake in Boulder City.  

Trumpeter Swans at Boulder City

Rocky Mountain National Park

We searched for Three-toed Woodpeckers at a known nesting area--Endovalley Picnic Grounds. The mixed fir & aspen forest was beautiful, and alive with many birds. I saw Red-napped Sapsuckers & Hairy Woodpeckers, but no Three-toed.  On the other side of the stream, Rich had one in his sights for a few minutes, so I  scrambled across a log towards him.  Alas, it had moved on when I finally got there.

In addition to chickadees, nuthatches, thrushes, swallows, and flycatchers, many varieties of mammals and  butterflies shared the park.  Elk, chipmunks, marmots, squirrels, and pikas were all common.  The Phoebus Parnassian was limited to areas above the tree line--the Admiral was in the forest.

Phoebus Parnassian

Weidemeyer's Admiral


American Dipper at RMNP

This young American Dipper was content to fly around a bit and then sit quietly, eyeing the stream for bugs.  We never did see this one "dip" or run along the stream bottom.

Clark's Nutcracker

Nutcrackers were common in the park, looking for handouts at them more popular overlooks.  It was a great visit to the Denver area, and I can't wait to get back to the mountains!

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Photos © Henry D. Detwiler