Monday 7/11: Today was devoted to trying for a few more targets, mostly back in Rocky Mountain National Park. After checking out, I started towards the park. On the way, I stopped at Dixon Reservoir, which had California Gulls recently according to BirdsEye. No gulls on the water, but a magpie finally cooperated for photos.
(Almost every shot had the eyelid down for some reason)
Reaching RMNP, I headed back to Endovalley. It was quieter than last time, but the Cordilleran Flycatcher was more cooperative and a Raven was up above.
After looping around here, I headed to Upper Beaver Meadows. I caught up with a Dusky Flycatcher pretty quickly (too far for photos) and continued wandering around hoping for better views. I was chasing the crossbills that were overhead and spending more time on butterflies when I heard a very soft tapping a little bit off the trail. Walking over, I found one of my main targets, an American Three-toed Woodpecker. Being careful to not disturb it, I got fairly good views but obscured photos.
From here, I turned to bugs, a few photos below:
Robber Fly, possibly Cyrtopogon species.
Queen Alexandra’s Sulphur (which is the answer to What’s This)
Different Blue species (one Rocky Mountain Squared-spotted Blue and one Melissa Blue maybe?)
And this Elk was also along the trail.
From here, I drove around the park a bit but didn’t find anything of interest. Heading out, I plugged American Dipper into BirdsEye and it suggested a little park right on the road in Estes Park. No luck with the dipper (and a likely Cassin’s Finch got away) but it was a nice little stop.
I headed back towards Fort Collins and stopped at Dixon again (nothing). Checking BirdsEye again, I headed to Windsor Lake. Once I reached the right section of the lake, I scoped a bit and found many Aechmophorus grebes. There were about 100 total, 90 Western and 10 Clark’s.
A few gulls were around, including a couple definite Californias.
It was looking very threatening, so I moved on and mostly missed the rain. I headed to Denver, making a quick attempt at buying some souvenirs. The Rockies shop was closing (at 4:45…) and the other store in the area had closed for the all star break, so I failed. I decided to head partway to the airport. Traffic was pretty bad, so I eventually pulled off and grabbed the first hotel I found. Rather dumpy but ok for the last night. Wendy’s next door was good enough. I then watched the home run derby and packed.
Tuesday 7/12: Headed home today. I realized I had enough time for a quick stop and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR was nearby. I managed to run around the closest pond and had lots of swallows plus a Black-crowned Night-Heron and a pewee. Then off to find gas and return the car. Shuttle back to the airport and then through security and a flight to Baltimore. Enough time in Baltimore to grab some food and then a short flight to Boston and back home.