As the year begins to wind down, we head into the heart of autumn. Today we take you to the southwestern regions of Colorado state to search for the beautiful Black-billed Magpie.
Earlier this year, we, the band of birders, tried to find this bird in the 4 Corners region within the reservation town of Teec Nos Pos. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate the birds, but on this epic road trip, we finally discovered at least one hanging out around the town.
The weather went from sun to rain to snow! What is a journey without a little adventure?
Along the way, we stopped at watering holes and snapped pics of not only the birds but the amazing fall colors. The brightly colored leaves swirled all around us as we inspected each site for that rare bird.
Most of the birds in Colorado have already been seen this year in various parts of the country. We were hoping to spot the endangered Gunnison's sage-grouse, but the weather had other plans. However the addition of the Black-billed Magpie to the year list was great.
We were unsuccessful in our attempts to locate this grouse, but I now have a better understanding of their habitat. However, having past experiences with a storm like the one approaching made us depart earlier than expected.
With our elevation and cold temps, I knew we weren't looking at rain in the forecast......
We high tailed it off the dirt roads before they became impassable and turned into mud and ice.
The surreal autumn colors were blanketed by frost. There were several moments in whiteout conditions that had me at the edge of my seat. Winter had come.
We made it down the mountain and thankfully had an uneventful trip to Colorado Springs.
Our journey continues. Check out the video below made from my cell phone over this past year. It shows a bit of the Hwy 50 magic.
Update on the owl from last week's post. The bird is doing well and healing. It had a fractured humerus(the bone that attaches the wing to the body). The appetite has come back and things are looking up. For more about birds from around the world, check out Wild Bird Wednesday.