Crazy good birding in Teller Farms

Whatta day birding in Teller Farms! Star and I started out from the Teller Farms North trailhead and went south and east in search of the elusive Dickcissel (new for me). Ran into a birder who told me where to look for the Dickcissel and the reported Bobolinks. Sure enough, saw two and heard two Dickcissels! Saw two Bobolinks, which was only the second time I’d seen them. The first time was two years ago in South Dakota. While Star ran loose (legally) and had a great time playing with other dogs on the trail, here’s what else I saw:

Blue Grosbeak (new for me; thought it was an Indigo Bunting)

Brewers Blackbird

Barn Swallow

Red-winged Blackbird

European Starling

Western Meadowlark

Eastern Kingbird fighting with a Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Red-tailed Hawk

American Robin

A Sparrow I couldn’t ID. Maaaaybe a Savannah Sparrow??

Wish I’d had my camera. Would have gotten some great pics of the Bobolinks.

Hiking the South Mesa trails

Great hike with Marty and the dogs tonight on South Mesa trails (below Eldorado Canyon south of Boulder). Saw some great birds:

Lazuli Bunting (first for both of us)

Spotted Towhee

Mountain Bluebird

House Finch

Say’s Phoebe

Yellow-Rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)

American Robin

Great Blue Heron overhead

Camping in Pike National Forest

Celebrated Memorial Day 2012 weekend by camping at the Kelsey Campground in the Pike National Forest. Would have been a great place to camp if it hadn’t been windy, if the campsites were level, and if we didn’t hear boom, boom, boom every day (shooting range not far away).

Saw the following birds:

  • Townsend’s Warbler (first for me)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Pine Siskin
  • Stellars Jay
  • American Crow
  • Western Wood Pewee
  • Magpie
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  • Mourning Dove

I know we saw more than this, but that’s all I can recall this evening.

Birding with Dee on our fabulous trip across Nevada and California!

Thank you Dee for putting together this list of birds that we saw on our trip!!


Species Name Race
Blackbird Red-winged
Blackbird Brewer’s
Blackbird Brewer’s
Coot American
Crow American
Crow American
Dove Mourning
Duck Ruddy
Gallinule Purple
Gnatcatcher Black-tailed
Goldfinch American
Grackle Great-tailed
Grackle Great-tailed
Grebe Eared
Grebe Pied-billed
Grebe Horned
Gull Ring-billed
Hawk Red-tailed
Hawk Red-shouldered
Heron Green Little
Hummingbird Anna’s
Hummingbird Black-chinned
Kestrel American
Moorhen Common
Night-heron Black-crowned
Phoebe Say’s
Phoebe Black
Pigeon Rock
Pigeon Rock
Pipit American
Quail Gambel’s
Rail Virginia
Raven Common
Shoveler Northern
Shrike Loggerhead
Sparrow White-crowned
Sparrow House
Starling European
Teal Green-winged
Warbler Yellow-rumped
Wren Marsh


Species Name Race
Blackbird Brewer’s
Chickadee Mountain
Chickadee Mountain
Chickadee Black-capped
Crow American
Crow American
Crow American
Dipper American
Egret Great
Grebe Eared
Gull Ring-billed
Harrier Northern
Harrier Northern
Hawk Sharp-shinned
Hawk Red-tailed
Hawk Sharp-shinned
Heron Blue Great
Hummingbird Anna’s
Jay Steller’s
Junco Dark-eyed
Kestrel American
Magpie Yellow-billed
Meadowlark Western
Meadowlark Western
Nuthatch White-breasted
Nuthatch Pygmy
Nuthatch White-breasted
Owl Barn
Phoebe Black
Quail California
Raven Common
Raven Common
Raven Common
Robin American
Robin American
Scrub-Jay Western
Siskin Pine
Sparrow House
Sparrow Song
Sparrow White-crowned
Starling European
Titmouse Juniper
Titmouse Tufted
Towhee California
Vulture Turkey
Woodpecker Acorn

Birding at Walden Ponds in Boulder

Gorgeous fall day. Marty and I took the dogs to Walden Ponds, where there’s always great birding. As we walked along, I said, “Listen to that blue jay – it sounds just like a red-tailed hawk!” Well, uh, it really was a red-tailed hawk. Here’s what we saw:

Gulls (I don’t know gulls because I really don’t care too much about them)
Black-capped Chickadee
American Robin
Northern Flicker
Belted Kingfisher
Blue Jay
American Coot
American Widgeon
Pie-billed Grebe
Red-tailed Hawk
Canada Goose
Common Goldeneye
Ring-necked Duck
Redhead (duck)
Great Blue Heron
and a lone Bufflehead.

What I’m grateful for

I feel as though my life has been on a roller coaster for the last three weeks. Big downs, big ups, little downs, little ups. First big down: Hearing that our dear friend Laura had a brain aneurysm, and remains in a coma after successful brain surgery to clamp it off. Followed by a big up almost two weeks later: Seeing Laura open her eyes and looking at Marty and me, and squeezing our hands in response.

Second big down: Getting rear-ended by a kid in a Passat on a downtown Denver street. Having to deal with all the crap afterwards, which is doubly painful because I didn’t cause this accident, yet I’m devoting my time and energy to heal my body and my car. It should be resolved by next week (I hope).

A little down: Falling on a sidewalk last night after tripping over my own feet (although Marty started it by accidentally stepping on my foot). Having that what-the-hell-just-happened feeling, like how I felt after my car getting hit. Feeling sore, scraped, battered, and bruised.

A little up: Feeling grateful for my family and friends. Maybe that should be another big up.

Birds of Denmark

OK, so I haven’t been blogging. It seems as though I post pictures and thoughts on Facebook rather than my blog. I got back last week from a 2-1/2 week work assignment in Ringkøbing, Denmark. It was an incredible trip – not just because I was in a beautiful country on my company’s dime. I had a car. I had time to explore West Jutland. I saw fabulous birds that might be lifers (unless I get back to Europe):

  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Greenfinch
  • White Wagtail
  • Yellow Wagtail
  • Grey Heron
  • Goosander
  • Hooded Crow
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Greylag Goose
  • Spoonbill
  • Lapwing
  • White-tailed Eagle (Sea Eagle)
  • Meadow Pipit

And I saw more commonplace birds, but it was still good to see them so far from home:

  • Oystercatcher
  • Tern
  • Coot
  • Mute Swan
  • Long-Billed Dowitcher
  • Cormorant
  • Black-Headed Gull
  • Common Gull
  • Magpie
  • Collared Dove
  • House Sparrow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Crow
  • Blackbird
  • Starling

Happy Eleventy-Eleven!

Nothin like a new year to feel like you’re looking at a blank slate…even though you’re a sum of everything you’ve ever said and done. What a year 2010 was!

Happy Thanksgiving?

Mom, Max, Dad, and me…sans Marty!


Had a relatively good holiday – if you don’t count the fact that my husband didn’t go with me to my parents’ house as planned!

The night before our 7:35am flight from Denver to Las Vegas, we discovered that Star ripped his dewclaw nail. It had happened that day, but we didn’t notice until getting ready for bed around 9:00pm. It looked awful and he was in pain, so off to the emergency vet clinic we went. Had to wait; another dog was being treated for gunshot wounds.

Around 11:30, they sedated him, clipped the nail (likening it to a really bad hangnail), and sent us home at midnight. Our instructions: take the bandage off the next morning, limit exercise, withhold food for several hours, and make him wear the cone (of shame) to prevent infection. We didn’t want to put the burden of Star’s care on our pet sitter, who had met him just the week before. So we decided that Marty would stay home and I would travel alone.

The next morning, I called my parents from the airport and said, “Now don’t freak out, but Marty’s not coming.” I explained, and hung up. Minutes later, my mom called to say that I didn’t have to come if I didn’t want to; they’d completely understand. I said no, too late, I was on my way. Or at least, my bag was on its way to Vegas whether I accompanied it or not.

I never thought about his confirmed seat on the Southwest flight. I boarded and, as usual, sat as close to the front of the plane without sitting in the bulkhead. I was in the second row. Just before we left, the gate agent came running onto the plane and said my husband’s name and instructed him to press the call button immediately. I leaned out of my seat and said, “I’m his wife – he wasn’t able to make the flight”, and apologized for not saying anything when I checked my bag. No big deal; the gate agent left, and the flight attendant secured the door. She turned to me and said something like, “I’m so sorry he couldn’t make it.” Rather than go into the long story, I quipped, “Well, you know how it is…after 20 years of marriage, sometimes you need a break from each other, even on a holiday.” That got big laughs.

Even though we missed Marty, I was so glad that we made this decision. Star was fine; he’s healing and didn’t have to wear the cone for very long. Marty celebrated Thanksgiving at my brother’s house, and a good time was had by all. When I checked in for the return flight, I made sure to tell the reps that he wasn’t aboard, and they could resell his seat. Glad I did that; it was a completely full flight.

Now I see, firsthand, why airlines oversell flights, because the odds are good that not everyone who buys a ticket will travel.

New job

Can I just say that I am so happy to be working at Vestas? Two weeks in…great company, great coworkers, great commute…