Lake Estes Winter Birding

Barrow's Goldeneye (female)
On January 27, while driving across the Lake Estes causeway, we noticed a small flock of birds with splashes of white on the largely unfrozen lake. We pulled in to have a look and joined two other birders who happened to be Scott & Julie Roederer! They were quick to point out the find of the day, a female Barrow's Goldeneye. Also swimming about were Common Goldeneyes and a pair of Buffleheads at closer range than we had seen at Bosque del Apache.

Common Goldeneye (female and male)
On the 29th of January we took advantage of our "balmy" 40 degree weather and walked around the lake. In addition to watching the waterfowl, we decided to stroll along the Big Thompson in Wapiti Meadows where we'd briefly seen an American Dipper a couple years ago. We got lucky and Mike spotted one almost immediately as we approached the river. The Ouzel allowed us to get quite close and entertained us for a good amount of time as he kept busy diving. Later on the portion of the lake trail near the treatment facility we watched a cute little Pygmy Nuthatch darting about eating insects. He was only one of many we heard up in the pines.

Bufflehead (male)

Bufflehead (female)

American Dipper (aka water ouzel)

American Dipper (aka water ouzel)

Pygmy Nuthatch

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