Black-billed Magpie - Rocky Mt. National Park


Boulder, CO & Surroundings 
(Page 2)
26-31 July 2005
by Henry Detwiler

I took advantage of a training class in Boulder to explore the area more, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday.  
Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized photos.   

White-crowned Sparrow
Alpine Center, Rocky Mt. National Park
After a quick breakfast on Saturday morning I dashed up to Rocky Mt. NP, only stopping once--just in time to avoid flattening a baby deer.  The birds were out in force, and the morning was sunny and beautiful.  In the Fall River Valley I had close looks at singing Dusky Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, chickadees, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Wilson's Warblers.
Just past the bridge on Fall River Road these two woodpeckers were feeding close together.  The young sapsucker would follow the Hairy Woodpecker until it was chased off--then it would return again in a few minutes.  This is also where I got nice photos of the Black-billed Magpies--one of which is posing at the top of the page.

Red-naped Sapsucker & Hairy Woodpecker,
Rocky Mt. National Park

Alpine Visitor Center
Rocky Mt. National Park

I took the Old Fall River Road up to the Alpine Visitor Center.  It was a beautiful drive, and once the road opened up on the tundra, the views were spectacular.  There were also a fair number of animals, with elk and marmots being the most visible.

White-tailed Ptarmigan chick

Some hiking around beyond Medicine Bow Curve turned up a family of White-tailed Ptarmigan--a mama and her five chicks.  She was constantly whistling softly to them, and they never ventured far.  As with other ptarmigans I've encountered, they exhibited no alarm or fear at my presence.

White-tailed Ptarmigan
Rocky Mt. National Park

Chasm Falls - Rocky Mt. National Park

This waterfall along the Old Falls Road was scenic but crowded.  I expected one of the boys jumping from stone to stone to fall in, but he always regained his balance.  The surrounding forest held Golden-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Mountain Chickadee, and many Yellow-rumped Warblers.


The tundra flowers & birds were beautiful, but as I watching the ptarmigan family, the American Pipits, and the White-crowned Sparrows, the winds and rain came howling in.  Temperatures dropped significantly, and I soon abandoned my quest to photograph the Brown-Capped Rosy-Finches.  Maybe next year!



Photos Henry Detwiler