Birding by Habitat: Ashcroft Species List
July 16, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 8 AM – 11 AM
Weather: Mostly sunny
The lower subalpine/higher montane is a life zone transition area with a suite of birds that are high on birders’ target lists, and today delivered a few excellent sightings of choice species. We began with tree and violet-green swallows, mountain bluebirds, and white-crowned sparrows as we left the parking lot at the ghost town of Ashcroft. Lincoln’s sparrows sang in the background from the surrounding extensive riparian willows. In the aspen forest, we heard and saw a hermit thrush, a bird that is easily noted by ear but fairly difficult to see due to its retiring behavior. In one of the ghost town’s buildings, we saw a cordilleran flycatcher incubating on the nest. Along River Run Trail, we encountered a flock of golden-crowned kinglets high in the tops of towering spruce trees over the creek. After some effort, we had excellent views of one of them. Red-naped sapsuckers, siskins, Wilson’s and MacGillivray’s warblers, and more Lincoln’s sparrows were highlights along the trail. In the open meadows, rufous and broad-tailed hummingbirds were feeding among the profusion of scarlet gilia. A curious long-tailed weasel was a fun non-bird highlight. We ended the hike with a dipper preening on a rock in the middle of the creek. Next week’s Birding By Habitat field trip will be a hike on the Upper Lost Man Trail to focus on birds of the alpine tundra.
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong