Morning Birding at Hallam Lake 2/1/22
Tuesday, February 1, 2022, 8am-11am
Weather: Cloudy and cold
Location: Hallam Lake
Today's outing included several special birding highlights: several low flights of mallards overhead, a dipper that caught and ate a large minnow, a common goldeneye on the river, and a mixed flock of pygmy nuthatches, white-breasted nuthatches, and chickadees. The mallards flew over our group as they moved from the upper pond to lower water in the main pond area, leaving us delighted with an up-close experience of the whistling sounds produced by their flapping wings. The dipper was foraging around the massive beaver cache of trimmed willow and alder branches in a waterway in the back area of the preserve; we enjoyed long views of this bird in excellent light as it foraged, caught a large minnow, beat it on the ice, swallowed it, and then appeared to rest after that big meal. The Common Goldeneye that we saw at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River and Hunter Creek was an unusual sighting for this location; the duck was actively diving to forage for crustaceans and mollusks in the river. Pygmy nuthatches in the mixed flock were busy in a cottonwood stand along the Rio Grande Trail by the Roaring Fork River. We were able to compare field marks and vocalizations of pygmy vs. white-breasted nuthatches. Join us for our next birding outing!
Great Blue Heron
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo of American Dipper by Larry Lamsa.