ACES Morning Birding at Rock Bottom Ranch 10/10/23
October 10, 2023
Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 8:00-11:00am
Weather: Mostly sunny
Location: Rock Bottom Ranch, Basalt, CO
Today’s highlights included a Merlin that we saw in the cottonwood stand above the new native habitat garden and a Virginia Rail that gave its grunting calls at close range from within the cattails at the pond near the bird blind. The Merlin is a rare fall migrant in this area and we were thrilled to see this one. Key ID traits included its size (a little bigger and more bulky than a Kestrel); heavy, vertical streaking on the breast; and classic falcon proportions with pointed wings and powerful flight. The Virginia Rail did not emerge from the cattails, but gave several bouts of its grunting calls that were loud and clear, giving us the sense that the bird was nearly at our feet. Lewis’s Woodpeckers were busy caching acorns, as we have observed over the past two months. Evening Grosbeaks, sparrows, and blackbirds were active in flocks. Join us next Tuesday for Morning Birding at Hallam Lake!
Mallard Wild Turkey
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide