Have you birded there in the last few years? I suspect the finches don't come in that early anymore, because of the number of people that now visit the summit daily. When I was there in 2015, they came in just before sunset and were extremely nervous and flushy.
On Sunday, February 10, 2019, 5:06:38 AM PST, 'Dinsmore, Stephen J [NREM]' <cootjr...> [NEBirds] <NEBirds...> wrote:
I thought I would add a bit to this conversation as someone who spent a lot of time (mostly with Ross Silcock) looking for rosy-finch roosts in western Nebraska in the late 1990s and early 2000s. First, they seemed to prefer old Cliff Swallow nests on cliffs that faced south or east. Second, they like to go to bed early! Arrival times at the Henry Road site, Scotts Bluff Monument, and a couple of other spots averaged around 3 p.m. They usually didn't linger long before entering the old nests for the night. I'm not sure if this pattern has changed in recent years. So, the monument closure at 4:30 p.m was definitely not an issue for us and we found rosy-finches there several times.
**********Stephen J. DinsmoreDepartment of Natural Resource Ecology & ManagementIowa State University203 Science IIAmes, IA 50011Phone: 515-294-1348E-mail: <cootjr...>: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~cootjr/