Morning Birding at Hallam Lake and West Buttermilk Species List
July 14, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020 7AM – 10AM
Location: Hallam Lake and West Buttermilk Road
Great Blue Heron
Today’s Morning Birding outing incorporated a special field trip for the annual mid-summer hummingbird study. We met and birded at Hallam Lake where we were treated to three herons, two kingfishers, ruby-crowned kinglets, and many more birds. The adult ospreys were active at the lake and we observed one of them eating a large trout at the top of a cottonwood tree. The osprey nesting platform seemed inactive, and we are starting to conclude that this may not have been a successful breeding season for the pair; however, we are open to any surprises to the contrary, and we also understand that they might be a young pair still in the ‘practicing’ stages. We then drove to a private residence on West Buttermilk Road where we observed hummingbirds at close range in a setting with 6 large feeders surrounded by prime native habitat. Here, we had up-close looks at details such as the black-chinned’s decurved bill, pollen dusted on bills and foreheads, field marks of females and subadult males, and the various wing trill and vocal sounds. We learned about hummingbird physiology, anatomy, natural history, field marks, migration, and ecological role as pollinators while watching more than 50 hummingbirds around the feeders. Several rufous and at least three calliope hummingbirds were special highlights because of their regular but uncommon presence here in the valley during their lengthy post-breeding migration. Join us tomorrow for a field trip to bird at Ashcroft Ghost Town and along the River Run Trail on Castle Creek!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong