Grouse & Prairie-Chicken Tour for 2012

My most basic "Grouse Loop" through the state follows.
Day 1
Loveland Pass (Clear Creek County)
White-tailed Ptarmigan
Guanella Pass is closed.

Blue River Water Treatment Plant (Summit County)
Barrow's Goldeneyes
A short detour

Blue Ridge Road, Silverthorne (Summit County)
Rosy Finches
Search around subdivisions in hills.

Kremmling (Grand)
Rosy Finches

Near Coalmont Greater Sage-Grouse Lek (Jackson County)
Greater Sage-Grouse

Cameron Pass (Jackson) after dark
Boreal Owl
If you are interested in very little sleep.
Easier to find on the Grand Mesa (Mesa County)
Day 2
Stay in Craig or Hayden start at:
Sharp-tailed Grouse Leks
Sharp-tailed Grouse
Some years: Greater Sage-Grouse (do not count on them).

Go to 80 Route Leks after for:
Sharp-tailed Grouse
Greater Sage-Grouse
Possible Blue Grouse
If 80 Route is open, this is a better visit for all three.
(Listed on CoBus website if open).

If Greater Sage-Grouse are missed at 80 Route,
then I end my day at Timberlake Lek, north
of Craig. (Add one to Day numbers below)

Stay in Craig, see Barrow's Goldeneyes on
Yampa River (south of Craig and continue
toward the Colorado National Monument.

If you have seen all the grouse possible here:
Continue toward Grand Junction with side trip to Oxbow:

Oxbow Wildlife Area (Moffat)
(In season, check CoBus website for sightings.
Sage Sparrow
Pinyon Jay (possible)
Gray Vireo (late spring)
Sage Thrasher

Rifle Rest Stop (Garfield)
Possible Peregrine Falcon
Or Great-tailed Grackles (would be listed on CoBus website.

End daylight at Cameo (Mesa)
Black-throated Sparrow

After dark on Grand Mesa (Mesa)
Boreal Owl
Northern Pygmy-Owl
Again Owl Trip reduces sleep to almost none.
Day 3
Stay in Grand Junction
Colorado National Monument (Mesa)
(No need to visit before sunrise,
get a little extra sleep this morning.
I enter from southeast entrance;
keeps sun at back all day rather than looking into it.
Pinyon Jay (Campgrounds)
Juniper Titmouse (Visitor's Center & Campgrounds)
Black-throated Sparrow (just outside southeast entrance)
Gambel's Quail (subdivision just outside southeast entrance)
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Campgrounds)

Escalante Wildlife Area & Canyon (Delta)
Chukar (west of River to Pinnacle Rock)
Black Phoebe (near Pinnacle Rock)

Fruitgrower's Reservoir (Delta)
Sandpipers and Shorebirds
Sandhill Crane
Lewis's Woodpecker (E. Horn's Home below dam)

Confluence Park (Delta)
Western Screech-Owl
Yellow-headed Blackbird

End daylight at Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (Gunnison)
Dusky Grouse
Northern Pygmy-Owl
Day 4
Stay in Gunnison
Waunita Hot Springs Lek (Gunnison)
Gunnison Sage-Grouse

Head to Springfield; along route:

Temple Canyon Park (Fremont)
(If you have to skip a Location, this would be one)
Evening Grosbeak
Pinyon Jay
Juniper Titmouse

Swallows Road (Pueblo)
Scaled Quail
Curve-billed Thrasher
Loggerhead Shrike

End daylight either:
Rocky Ford
(May be worth skipping unless birds are on RBA.
Eurasian Collared-Dove
White-winged Dove
Inca Dove

Cottonwood Canyon (Baca)
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Lewis's Woodpecker
Western Screech-Owl (sunset or later)
Day 5 (old route of past ten years)
Spend night in Elkhart, Kansas
Visit one of two Elkhart Lesser Prairie-Chicken Leks
Lesser Prairie-Chicken
Cassin's Sparrow
Lark Bunting, late spring.

Back to Cottonwood Canyon

Across from Washington Work Center
(7 miles south of Springfield)
Burrowing Owl
Mountain Plover
Long-billed Curlew

Eurasian Collared-Dove
Great-tailed Grackle

Lamar Community College (Prowers)
Northern Cardinal

End day looking for Greater Prairie-Chicken (Yuma)

It helps to spend two extra days if interested in the Black Phoebes
of Uravan (Montrose) and Flammulated Owl of Uncompahgre
Plateau (Mesa & Montrose Counties). Also, the pace is
hectic (getting up at 4:00am and going to bed at 12:00am)
An extra day is useful for recuperating.
Day 5 (new route we will try first time, 2018)
Visit Lesser Prairie-Chicken Leks in Western Kansas, just across border from Holly, Colorado
Scroll down to Lesser Prairie-Chicken Information

Perhaps visit Lamar Community College (Prowers County)
Northern Cardinal
And Two Buttes Reservoir south of Lamar (Baca County)
Uncommon warblers & Mountain Plover south of reservoir.

End daylight at Bonny Reservoir Wildlife Area (Yuma County)
Uncommon warblers and vireos, Long-eared Owls, Eastern Screech-Owls.

If going on Wray Greater Prairie-Chicken tour, continue to Wray during daylight.
Day 6
Stay in Wray
Yuma County Road 45
Search for Greater Prairie-Chickens at Yuma County Road 45,
or visit one of the ranches which require a fee.

Pawnee National Grasslands
Afterwards continue to Mountain Plover Loops; Pawnee National Grasslands (Weld)
Mountain Plover
Burrowing Owl

Lower Latham Reservoir (Weld)
Short-eared Owls (at sunset)
Day 7
Back in Denver for night.
Pike National Forest & Pine Valley Ranch Park (Jefferson)
American Three-toed Woodpecker

Return to Loveland Pass
If missed White-tailed Ptarmigan


Please feel free to contact CoBus and
President, Gary Weston at the following address: