Date: 8/27/19 2:49 pm From: DAVID A LEATHERMAN <daleatherman...> Subject: [cobirds] Grandview Cemetery, Fort Collins (Larimer) highlights on 8/27/19
It actually was a bit like autumn when I visited Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins at the west terminus of Mountain Avenue this morning. I considered wearing a jacket but didn't, but it felt good to have a debate about it. Highlights include:
Multiple Western Wood-Pewees, FOS for more than two, definitely a sign of birds being on the move (none nested on site this summer).
Red-breasted Nuthatches, at least a dozen, caching spruce and Douglas-fir seeds like their little lives depended on it, and maybe they will.
A Wilson's Warbler in Grandview's lone sugar maple, which prompted a very interesting discussion of this tree's somewhat unique growth habits by today's accomplice, botany prof Dave Steingraeber who wrote his graduate thesis on this topic.
A lone hanger-on House Wren from the two families that bred locally this summer.
Black-capped Chickadees eating individual red drupes from the half-foot long fruit clusters of staghorn sumac.
At least 4 Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are still working the area, especially certain yards in the block between Grandview Avenue and Frey Avenue just to the east of the cemetery proper. Two flowers they favor at present are 1) Zauschneria californica (goes by various common names like "hummingbird trumpet", "Californian fuschia", "fire chalice", "Epilobium canum") and 2) Firecracker Cuphea (Cuphea hybrid). Both were identified by Dave Steingraeber.
A Calliope Hummingbird (1 immature female) has been working one particular patch of Zauschneria. This particular bird, frequently taking turns harassing or being harassed by female broadtails, has the classic square, short tail, plus hump-backed look of its species and sports exactly 8 pink gorget feathers clustered mid-throat. (A few days ago two female Rufous Hummingbirds patrolled this same patch of Zauschneria.)
Same young female Calliope Hummingbird visiting Zauschneria and sporting beautiful throat feathers while perched in a serviceberry sapling.
Spizella sparrows are finally moving in numbers. I heard flyover chippers on at least 3 occasions this morning. Yesterday a Brewer's Sparrow was on Frey Avenue.
Bushtits heard in the neighborhood east of the cemetery.
House Finches are poking holes in ripening plums.
Townsend's Warblers are due. Still haven't seen an empid flycatcher this fall. Ditto for lowland Olive-sided Flycatcher. Two other species interestingly absent from the cemetery for almost a month are starling and robin.