Birding By Habitat: West Sopris Creek 5/22/23
May 22, 2023
Wednesday, May 22, 2023, 7:00am-12:00pm
Location: West Sopris Creek, Basalt, CO
This special field trip was co-led by ACES’ first director, Jody Cardamone. It is a wonderful experience to spend time in the field with her, especially in the Sopris Creek area. We began with an introduction at the Emma Schoolhouse where we saw Ospreys and Great Blue Herons on nests, and Tree Swallows using a nest box. From there, we went to a BLM site part-way up the valley and hiked into prime pinyon-juniper shrubland with areas of sagebrush and scrub oak. Here, the birds were somewhat difficult to see until we spotted a male Western Tanager and a Dusky Flycatcher that stayed perched long enough for us to get excellent observations with binoculars and the scope. We discussed habitat preferences among the birds that we saw and heard, learning the subtle differences in their needs during breeding season. At a riparian area along the creek, we observed Black-headed Grosbeaks, Yellow Warblers, and an active Raven nest on a rock outcropping. Dinkle Lake area yielded Mountain Bluebirds, Tanagers, Warbling Vireos, and a Red-naped Sapsucker. Our last stop was at the Cardamone residence where we were able to see more species at their feeders: American Goldfinch, Cassin’s Finch, Pine Siskin, and hummingbirds. Band-tailed Pigeons flew in and perched in the cottonwood canopy for excellent views. Join us on June for Morning Birding every Tuesday!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide