Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Aspen CBC List

If any of you are birdDC readers and have followed a link to here, you have earned my gratitude. Thanks for reading all this stuff I've written, and welcome to the place where I'll write some more.

Anyway, as I was saying back on BirdDC, I recently participated in the Aspen Christmas Bird Count. My partner was longtime Aspen birder Ken Toy, and he and I managed an impressive (for Colorado in December) 22 species. Here is the list:

Canada Goose - 55 (At the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies - ACES)
Mallard - 130 (ACES and the wastewater plant)
American Widgeon - 1 (ACES)
Ring-Necked Duck - 1 (ACES)
Barnyard Goose - 4 (Not counted officially, but found at the wastewater plant)

Bald Eagle - 1 (Woody Creek)
Golden Eagle - 1 (Woody Creek)

American Coot - 1 (ACES)

Northern Red-Shafted Flicker - 3 (Town of Aspen. Ken was very surprised at this high number. He wasn't sure we'd find this bird at all.)

Steller's Jay - 5 (Aspen)
Scrub Jay - 2 (Cemetary Lane wastewater plant overlook)
Black-Billed Magpie - 30 (everywhere)
Common Raven - 25 (also everywhere)

Black-Capped Chickadee - 16 (Aspen)
Mountain Chickadee - 2 (Aspen)

American Dipper - 1 (Woody Creek)

Townsend's Solitaire - 1 (Cemetary Lane wastewater plant overlook)
American Robin - 65 (Cemetary Lane wastewater plant overlook. An incredibly high count. Ken said we would be lucky to find one or two robins, but at the Cemetary Lane spot they were dripping off trees. From afar they looked like pine cones.)

Oregon Dark-Eyed Junco - 5 (Aspen)

Red-Crossbill - 19 (Sundeck, Ajax Mtn)
American Goldfinch - 5 (A real find up here, apparently)
House Sparrow - 10 (Aspen)
European Starling - 15 (Aspen)

-I've never looked to hard for Rock Doves and not seen them.

-I was disappointed that after two trips up the Aspen gondola I was unable to find Gray Jays or Siskins. If you are visiting Aspen, I can assure you that you stand a very good chance of seeing these species from the Sundeck.

-Ken was surprised that we were unable to find the Belted Kingfisher that lives near Woody Creek.

-Near the Wood Creek Tavern we heard soft hooting sounds that I believe were from Northern Pygmy-Owls, a common-enough bird 'round here. Evidence was inconclusive, though.

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