"Harlan's" Red-tailed Hawk - by Joel Such
Being unable to hit the road on January 1st due to residual symptoms from an end-of-the-year virus, Welch and I were finally able start up our 2011 SWSA lists on January 2nd. Almost as soon as we turned out of the driveway – slipping and sliding on ice, and only miraculously keeping our feet on the road – a flock of Pygmy Nuthatches, the near omnipresent denizen of the Ponderosa Pine foothills of Colorado, started up their rambunctious piping calls. First bird of the run.
On the other side of the half-mile long icy-slope-of-doom, we were relieved to finally start hearing/seeing birds (other than the Munchkin Nuthatches) . . . a few Dark-eyed Juncos and a couple Mountain Chickadees. We managed to tally an incredible nine species (eight for myself, having missed a calling American Goldfinch that Welch heard). Note: I only had three species for my last run of 2010. We know, a bit of a let down from Pippin’s 10, the Bunny’s 20, and Skinky's 69, but we do our best. The highlight of the 3.2 miles of slipping and sliding was a “Harlan’s” Hawk accompanied by a typical Red-tail.