Friday, November 16, 2012
Field Notes 11.4.12
Illness had kept me inside for a couple of weeks but I was feeling better and my good “doctor”--Diane-- needed sun and fresh air, those inoculants against cabin fever. We headed west along Alamosa CR 8, with a Diane-inspired turnaround to see a young prairie falcon looking forlorn and motherless on a wooden fence post. We stopped at the CR 8 woodlot to eat our sandwiches. We viewed the fields and sky. Numerous sandhill cranes crisscrossed overhead, their distinctive calls magnified by the crisp autumn air.
On the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge auto loop we identified a bufflehead, American coots, mallards and northern shovelers. We saw a hawk – probably a young red-tailed – on the wing. On the west side of Colo. 15 we watched a herd of pronghorns loping through the chico and several prairie falcons atop power poles.
At Home Lake
The lake was crowded with American coots, Canada geese and several buffleheads. Swimming among the Canada geese were four greater white-fronted geese. These unusual geese, with their pink bills and white face patches, were distinctly different from the Canada geese. This is one of the interesting aspects of bird watching--the randomness. Earlier while we were at the MVNWR we had talked about just heading home, but decided instead to continue on undaunted and stop at Home Lake. If we had continued home daunted we would have missed the rare sighting of the greater white-fronted geese.