Weeks before, it was cold, snowy, and dangerously icy.* Now it is spring . . . 60° F, tender green grass sprouts, and budding willows. Best of all, spring migration has brightened the landscape with colorful birds returning for the upcoming breeding season.
The last weeks of winter only provided a few new SWSA birds: Northern Harrier (seen on the first run back in Colorado as it was getting mobbed by a couple rambunctious crows while flying over the snow-covered outskirts of Lyons), Pine Siskin (seen at a birdfeeder in Lyons), White-crowned Sparrow (heard along a ditch just above Lyons High School on the same day as the Pine Siskin), Mountain Bluebird (bright male seen on a 10 mile run in our neighborhood), Clark’s Nutcracker (a few fly-overs during a 3 mile loop in our neighborhood), Red Crossbill (a dozen or so type two crossbills chirping in a dense section of Ponderosa Pines), Cooper’s Hawk (an immature female flew over while running on the track at the Lyons High School).
On the 19th of March we stopped at Walden Ponds near Boulder, so Marcel could go birding, while I ran at Walden and the adjacent Sawhill Ponds. Both sites are the product of a land reclamation project at an old gravel mining operation near Boulder Creek.