Morning Birding at Hallam Lake 8/30/22
August 31, 2022
Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 7:30am-10:30am
Location: Hallam Lake, Aspen, CO
Bird behaviors and movements are fascinating as we get deeper into fall migration season, and today we lucked into several good pockets of birds which made it a spectacular morning! We began with a flock of crows and magpies that had found lots of fried chicken somewhere behind the post office. They were vocalizing and flying about, many of them carrying pieces of fried chicken in their bills. These birds were busy making the most of their amazing food find! We’re still not sure where the fried chicken came from, but this flock truly showcased the curiosity and flexibility of corvids that exploit all sorts of unusual foods, especially around the activities of people. On the upper post office trail, we saw fledgling house finches begging and being fed by adults, a flock of evening grosbeaks feeding on chokecherries, pygmy nuthatches in the cottonwood forest canopy, and many juvenile robins. A family of deer foraged close to us while we watched the birds in this food-rich habitat nook. The fledgling osprey from the Hallam Lake nest gave ongoing begging calls and was later seen eating a fish delivered by an adult. We observed hummingbirds feeding on the nectar of clematis flowers on a vine growing in the cottonwood forest and on sagebrush flowers, noting that broad-tailed hummingbirds are known to feed at unusual flowers that we do not typically associate with these birds. As we approached Hallam Lake, we noticed a large flock of ducks circling overhead before landing on the main lake. With the scope, we carefully checked the field marks of these ducks in their eclipse plumages and were excited to see that the majority were blue-winged teals along with two northern shovelers. Join us tomorrow for birding on the Moore Open Space where we expect to see a variety of migratory birds including several species of sparrows along with possible shrikes, warblers, tanagers, and buntings!
Great Blue Heron
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide