December Morning Birding at Hallam Lake & Glory Hole Park 12/6/22


Greta Brown

December 6, 2022

December Morning Birding at Hallam Lake & Glory Hole Park 12/6/22

Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 8:00am-11:00am
Weather: Snowing, heavily at times
Location: Hallam Lake, Aspen, CO

 

While our bird species list is rather short today, our sightings were rich experiences as we watched interesting behaviors and interactions. Our first birds of the morning were two common ravens perched side by side in the cottonwood canopy. Next, we watched a dipper forage at the edge of the main lake, where excellent light conditions highlighted subtle features of its plumage: a trace of buffy edging on contour feathers and the brownish wash over its head. This dipper was feasting: we could see it eating one macro-invertebrate after the next, a sign that the lake’s aquatic ecosystem is recovering after last winter’s levy repair and habitat improvement. Two pied-billed grebes dove in the middle of the lake while a muskrat swam back and forth. Near the back platform there was a lot of chickadee activity with both species in the willows and conifers. While discussing crossbills at the platform, we paused to listen to some unusual animal sounds which turned out to be mule deer vocalizing as they moved around in an agitated way. The deer are just winding up their mating season, and these calls and behaviors were interesting to experience and learn about. Back at the visitor center, we noticed caution tape on the west side of the back porch where a bear has been settling in to hibernate. We also did a quick check of Glory Hole Park where we found about 45 mallards. Join us on December 18th for the Aspen Christmas Bird Count and on January 3rd for Morning Birding!

Species List:

Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Wilson’s Snipe
Black-billed Magpie
Common Raven
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide

Featured photo: Wilson’s Snipe.