Birding By Habitat: Basalt Mountain 6/21/23
June 21, 2023
Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 7:00am-12:00pm
Location: Basalt Mountain, Basalt, CO
Every summer we love exploring the Ditch Trail – Mill Creek loop hike to observe the recovery from the 2018 Lake Christine fire. Birdlife in the burn area is consistently abundant and diverse, and this year the Western Tanager, Western Wood-pewee and Dusky Flycatcher were the most abundant species. It was also interesting and fun to note the growth of new trees, shrubs, and understory vegetation in the patchwork of habitat types on our hiking route: aspens are now well over ten feet tall, small conifer trees were seen in some spots, and the understory of wildflowers, grasses, and sedges was tall, thick, and lush. The abundant precipitation this spring and early summer has no doubt contributed to this growth. We spent time on sparrows and flycatchers because we saw a strong representation of these two bird groups; we also focused on songs and certain calls, taking advantage of moments when we had a bird in view and it was singing. Highlights included seeing a newly fledged Warbling Vireo, Red-naped Sapsucker parents actively bringing food to nestlings in their aspen tree cavity, a Wren family in another cavity in that same tree, a Plumbeous Vireo which was in slightly unconventional habitat for its species, and the many colorful Western Tanagers throughout the morning. The Brown Creeper and Olive-sided Flycatcher were also exciting to find. Join us next Tuesday for Morning Birding at Rock Bottom Ranch!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide