Wednesday, January 5, 2011

40° F = SLUSH

This afternoon I ran down on Lyons’ slushy roads and trails. Starting at the Lyons Middle/High School with XC Coach Akers, alumni and former State Champion Andrew Roberts (he runs for CSU now), plus a couple other Lyons' runners, and Masai of course, I only noted European Starlings and House Finches. After the next mile or so I lagged back to an easier pace and started to see/hear new birds - Dark-eyed Juncos fluttering up from the bank of the road, Black-capped Chickadees around every corner, the raspy chick-a-dee-dee-deee of a Mountain Chickadee, and a flash of a Flicker’s orange wings.

We worked our way through town to Meadow Park and followed Old South Saint Vrain Road almost to the far end (that’s when I got behind) and cut back to the school on a dirt road. Birding hotspot Old South was the most productive area where I saw three new Sweaty Sanderling birds - a Downy Woodpecker, three American Crows flying by the towering sandstone cliffs, and a total count of three Brown Creepers heard here and there. My total count for my 44 minute, 5.4 mile run was a measly nine species!

Birds Seen/Heard While Running:
Downy Woodpecker (new) – 1
“Red-shafted” Flicker – 1
American Crow (new) – 3
Black-capped Chickadee – 9
Mountain Chickadee – 1
Brown Creeper (new) – 3
European Starling – 2
Dark-eyed Junco – 20
House Finch – 4

2011 SWSA Totals:
Species = 22
Miles Run = 11.7
Time Running = 101 minutes
Species/Mile = 1.88034188…

Masai adds:

Concentrating on finding birds while at the same time trying to keep pace with Coach Akers and Andrew resulted in my missing all but four of the species Welch found, with only a single new SWSA species, a calling Brown Creeper. I ended the 5.5 mile run with, wait for it, four species!

2011 SWSA Totals:
Species = 19
Miles Run = 11.85
Time Running = 1:42 Hours
Species/Mile = 1.60337552742616...

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