Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Field Notes 3.9.12
To celebrate the start of the Monte Vista Crane Festival we decided to explore the crane action on the east side of the Valley. From Mosca we drove east on CR 4N and saw three beautiful western bluebirds sitting on a fence post. We zigged and zagged our way southeast looking for cranes in the cultivated fields. We stopped at an artesian pond which was filled with Canada geese, northern pintails, gadwalls, American widgeons, redheads, mallards, northern shovelers and buffleheads.
We scoured the county roads – south, then east, then south, then east, then south – but saw nothing. Once we reached U.S. Hwy. 160 we traveled on to Smith Reservoir and found our sandhill cranes loafing on the north shore. The open water also held many ducks, geese and several gulls strutting at the ice edge. Large flocks of horned larks appeared and quickly disappeared as we drove along the rocky shore.
Back in Alamosa we stopped at a nearby marsh and saw a great-tailed grackle singing from a tree top.