Date: 3/21/21 8:14 am From: Cinnamon Bergeron <cinnamonbergeron...> Subject: [cobirds] Birding out in Lincoln County, Karval
Yesterday afternoon, I drove out east to Karval. I really wasn't expecting to see much, but the day ended up being really fun and productive.
As I drove into town along County Road T, I could see dozens of Horned Larks along the way (almost as many Western Meadowlarks) on the side of the road, flying onto the barbed wire fence, or over it into the brush.
Once I got into town, I saw Loggerhead Shrike sitting on a telephone wire. As I drove closer, he/she flew down and landed on some barbed wire fence next to some huge earth moving equipment. The yellow paint made for a good photo background.
I drove south on County Road 9, about two miles, to an old abandoned lot, which my friend owns. (Actually it is his deceased parents home and the house that his grandparents homesteaded in, during the late 1800's, is still standing, but barely) He has had a Barn Owl living in a broken-down barn for the last couple of years, so I went to see if the Barn Owl was there, but no such luck. I've been looking for that Barn Owl for two years now, and it is never there when I stop by. There are also lots of Scaled Quail that have been living on the property for years, so I looked for them and I did find them. Yay! There were about 40 of Scaled Quail that came running out of an old broken down building. Usually they are under a huge pile of pallets, but yesterday they were in an old building. They all came running out and then flew across the street. My friend had told me that he saw all 40 of them sitting on the fence on the side of the road the other day, so I knew they were probably there. Seeing the quail was one of my intentions of the day, so that was a success
There is a run-down corral on the property and I saw a few birds flying around it. At first glance, I thought they were Meadowlarks. But to my surprise, they were Sage Thrashers. A whole bunch of them... about 10. I was shocked at how many. A bunch of them posed for some photos and then flew off. This was unexpected and I had never seen them there before.
I followed the Sage Thrashers to the County 9 Road and then saw a bunch of birds across the street in a tree. There were about 20 beautiful Mountain Bluebirds in one tree. It was spectacular. The bright blue contrast with the dull tree was incredible. I got as close as I could to get some photos, but the photos were pretty blurry. By the time I got close enough to take a decent shot, most of them had flown out of the tree onto the barbed wire fence and along the road. There were some females, but mostly males. I so wish I could have gotten a good photo with all those electric blue birds in that tree. Oh well. One can only dream.
So, then I drove over to the Karval Lake State Wildlife Area. On the lake there were only a small amount of water fowl. Some Buffleheads, Lesser Scaups and one Ruddy Duck, but there were so many Killdeer. I counted 8, but there could have been more. I saw some Mountain Bluebirds, Horned Larks and some Meadowlarks and one Kestrel, but overall, pretty quiet. Give it a few weeks and the place will be thriving with migrating birds.
As I left, heading back towards town, I saw two Northern Harriers (one male and one female) flying low hunting across the grassy area to the east.
I decided to look for a Golden Eagle, which are pretty common and just drove around. I did end up finding one, but I also found a Prairie Falcon hovering and swooping down to the ground over and over. I had never seen a Prairie Falcon do that before, only Kestrels, so that was fun to watch.
Then it started to get dark and the sun was setting. It was so pretty. I could still see Pikes Peak way off in the distance. I took a few sunset photos and then headed back home to Colorado Springs. There is so much beauty in the plains of Colorado in every season.
I am attaching a few of my favorite photos, The photo of the building is the homestead house from the 1800's. The story that goes along with it is too long to tell here.