Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Field Notes 2.26.12
A windy day – we headed east across Estrella Road, which saddles the Alamosa/Costilla county line. A bald eagle lifted off towards the morning sun, its white head and tail feathers shining in the sun’s reflection. Our destination was the open water at Smith Reservoir. Brian was planning to fish but it was too windy for a fish camp. The only thing we set up was the spotting scope.
On the west side of the lake we were struck by the large number of crows. On the water and along the shore were Canada geese, northern pintails, mallards, common mergansers, common golden eyes and redhead ducks. It was difficult to identify the ducks because they were bobbing up and down in the wind-induced waves. We crossed the bridge to the open water at the point of land that in wetter times is an island. Several ring-billed gulls strutted near the ice ledge. About 200 sandhill cranes lined the western shore. Four mature bald eagles and a very young bald eagle perched in the center of the frozen portion of the lake. The juvenile flew low over the lake and stirred up the ducks. Everywhere along the shore we flushed out flocks of horned larks.