Rocky Mountain National Park

After the Pagosa Folk’ N Bluegrass Festival, we went home via Rocky Mountain National Park, Wind Cave national Park, Mt. Rushmore, and the Badlands.

At Rocky Mountain National Park, we camped at Glacier Basin Campground.

The following day, we hiked to the Lock.

On the way, we stopped briefly at Alberta Falls.  the mist was so nice.

The Lock was breath taking, but it was so windy, we couldn’t relax.

On the way back from the Lock, we met young hikers at a trail juction to Mills lake.  He told us the trail has snow, but it is a “must see” lake, so we went.

Mills lake was indeed beautiful, and a little less windy, but clouds were moving in so we couldn’t stay there too long.  When we returned to the Glacier Basin campground, it was so windy, we could’t sit outside.  That night, it got  so windy that it kept us up almost all night long.   In the morning,  blue skies were back, and the wind had died down, so we hiked to Sprague Lake.  We didn’t have to hike long, but it was still beautiful.  Quite a few people were fly fishing, and birds were flying around those fishermen.

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Yellow-headed Blackbird & Black-billed Magpie @ Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado, June 9th, 2017

After camping by the Rio Grande in Del Norte, we went to a larger town, Monte Vista to get groceries.  While looking at a map, we discovered there is a National Wildlife Refuge near the town, so we had to go.   There I was able to capture the photos of a Yellow-headed Blackbird & a Black-billed Magpie.  It is a very nice NWR.

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Road trip to Colorado, June 2017

We made our trip to the Pagosa Folk’ N Bluegrass festival in June this year.   Last year, we went there via Moab and Durango, but this time we decided to take HWY 70 all the way to Glenwood Springs, and go down south on hwy 82 and  24.  I’m glad we took a different route.  Instead of a 100 degree desert, we drove through snow covered mountains.  

After coming down the winding road, we reached Twin Lakes, and had lunch there.   There was hardly anyone there…

We camped by the Rio Grande in a small town called Del Norte in Southern Colorado.  There were a lot of Magpies flying over the river.

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Barred Owl

Today, we went for a walk in the woods right across from our house, and came across a Barred Owl.  I ran back to get my camera while Bob kept an eye on the bird.  We were able to see it because the bird heard us walking, and flew to another tree.  Otherwise we would have never found it!

 

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Caspian Terns & Red-Winged Blackbirds@Nisqually NWR

On Tuesday, May 22, we visited the Nisqually NWR near Olympia, WA.  We arrived around 2:00 P.M., and it was sunny and warm.  It was a beautiful day, but the reserve was very quiet until we reached the observation tower except for some Red-Winged Blackbirds resting on a small shrub.  At the observation tower, Cliff Swallows were going in and out of their nests, and Barn Swallows were also flying around as well.  (Sorry, no pictures of them flying.  They were way to fast for me.)  We started to see Caspian Terns flying high above in distance.  We walked all the way to the viewing platform at the end of the trail.  I saw a big brown bird flying in the distance.  I think it was Golden Eagle, but not sure at all since I couldn’t capture it on my camera….

Red-winged Blackbird (Adult Male) resting on a small shrub.

Cliff Swallow 

Two birds ready to take off,  I think they are female Red-winged blackbirds, but not sure… I didn’t see any male Red-winged blackbirds near by.

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Roufous Hummingbird

Quite few Humingbirds have been visiting my feeder.  I was finally able to take some pictures.  I think they are Roufous Hummingbird.

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Sooty Grouse & Northern Flicker on Icicle Ridge Trail

We went camping/hiking at Leavenworth, Washington Area on May 1-3.  On May 2,  we hiked the Icicle Ridge trail.  It was a steep trail, but I enjoyed the view and the crisp air.  

Midway into the hike, we heard deep sounds from the wooded area, so we looked around, and Bob pointed out a large Sooty Grouse siting on a log.  It was dark, and I couldn’t see clearly, but my camera captured one of his air sacs, and his beautiful eyebrows.  What an amazing bird!

There were many birds flying around at the top.  They flew too fast for me to take pictures, but a pair of Northern Flickers landed on a dead tree .

     

Oh.. Some Wild flowers were blooming, too.

People we met on the Icicle Ridge trail strongly recommended  the Icicle Gorge Nature Loop , so we did it the following day.  It was indeed a beautiful trail with rumbling rapids, tall trees (Ceders, Firs, Spruce and Ponderosa pines, etc), and views of snow covered peaks.  In the forest, there was a lot of snow on the ground, and wild flowers were blooming in the sunny area.

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