Another beautiful northern Colorado County.
A highlight of the county is the Sage Grouse Leks!
County Seat: Walden (8,099')
Bird Checklist: 276 species
- 1.Finding Boreal Owls and Cameron Pass
Best place to find Boreal Owls in Colorado. Dusky Grouse walk across Highway 14
during the day. Pine Grosbeaks and other mountain species visit the wild flowers.
Several Long-eared Owls have been recorded along Michigan Ditch Road (south from
Cameron Pass' Summit.
- 2.Colorado State Forest and Michigan Reservoir
Mountain species, Flammulated and Boreal Owls are found in forest.
- 3.Delaney Butte Lakes
This high mountain lake has some interesting bird records.
Occasionally, a Greater Sage-Grouse shows up along CR 20 (west of lakes)
Loons, Greater Scaup, Barrow's Goldeneye, Marbled Godwit, Willet, and Caspian Terns
are a few of the bird recorded here. May, 2007 we found an out of place Clark's Nutcracker.
Short-eared Owls have been spotted around dusk south of the lake.
- 4.Lake John Wildlife Area
Another high mountain lake. Free camping with few facilities and possibility of high winds.
Rumors have it Mountain Plover nested nearby. Its bird list includes: Caspian Tern,
Common Loon, Tundra Swan, Scoters, Greater Scaup, Pectoral Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit,
Peregrine Falcon, and Osprey. Occasionally a Greater Sage-Grouse shows up.
- 5.Walden Reservoir
This large swallow lake can attract some interesting shorebirds. It has a great
bird list which includes: Surf Scoter, Red-necked Phalarope, Marbled Godwit, Willet,
Least Tern, and a summer Little Gull record.
- 6.Cowdrey Lake Wildlife Area
Seldom birded location that produces some interesting sightings now and then.
Waterfowl sightings may be good here. It has attracted a Common Loon.
A Northern Waterthrush and Swamp Sparrow also have been seen here.
- 7.Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge
Waterfowl, osprey, hawks and falcons frequent the area. Swans sometimes stop by too!
This huge area can take days to bird properly.
It's said its the place to find Greater Sage-Grouse in non-lekking season. They are
still difficult to locate. Tundra Swan, American Bittern, Greater Scaup, Marbled Godwit,
Semipalmated Plover, Upland Sandpiper, Whimbrel, and Veery have all been seen.
Sage Thrashers are common and Savannah Sparrows not too difficult to find.
- 8.Owl Mountain Wildlife Area
Out of the way and under birded area with potential.
- 9.Jackson County Road 25
Besides being a good road to find an occasional Greater Sage-Grouse in non-lekking season,
this road seems to have quite a few Sage Thrashers and Brewer's Sparrows in the spring.
- 10.Jackson County Road 30
Veery can be found in the willows on the way to Meadow Creek Reservoir.
- 11.American Lakes & Michigan Ditch Road
If you want to find White-tailed Ptarmigan in this county, you have to work for it.
I have done the hike twice and its strenuous. Fortunately, I did find Ptarmigan
on both trips. If you time your trip to reach Michigan Ditch road after dark on
the return trip. You may hear a Boreal Owl as you return to Cameron Pass.
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