La Plata County
La Plata has the Animas River running through it. Acorn Woodpeckers have nested in the
county for several years now. A handful of rare birds have passed through it the last few years.
County Seat: Durango (6,512')
Bird Checklist: 327 species
- 1.Pastorius Reservoir
The reservoir is a good place to search for migrants and mountain species.
The surrounding forest and riparian area has a large checklist. The lake has
attracted waterfowl, gulls, tern, and shorebirds. A Black Skimmer was reported
here once. Other uncommon birds have included a Mew Gull, Semipalmated Plover
(several years), Warblers (Palm, several times, Prothonotary), Eastern Phoebes, etc.
- 2.Haviland Lake Wildlife Area
WLA is a good place to find Grace's Warblers (fee area).
American Three-toed Woodpeckers have also been seen around the lake.
Osprey and Nashville Warblers too.
- 3.Vallecito Reservoir
It is worth a stop at this fee area.
Grace's Warblers and Three-toed Woodpeckers have been reported around the lake.
The lake has attracted Barrow's Goldeneye, White-winged & Surf Scoter, Osprey,
Greater White-fronted Geese, Herring & Sabine Gulls.
- 4.Wildcat Canyon
Acorn Woodpeckers are nesting here.
- 5.Zink's Pond
Occasionally an uncommon bird will stop by this small pond.
Ducks, Geese, Rails, marsh birds all have used this small pond.
Best birds: Barrow's Goldeneye, Black Phoebe, Greater White-fronted Goose, Sora.
- 6.Animas River at Durango
The riparian area along the Animas River can produce some interesting sightings.
A few years ago, a female Harlequin Duck stayed on the river for several days.
Bohemian Waxwings, uncommon Warblers, and a Varied Thrush have been recorded here.
Warblers included: Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, Mourning, & Black-and-White.
- 7.Junction Creek Campgrounds
A good place to search for Grace's Warblers. Virginia's Warblers, Plumbeous Vires,
and Northern Goshawks could also be seen. Owls recorded in the area include:
Northern Saw-whet, Northern Pygmy, and Flammulated (higher up the road).
- 8.La Plata Canyon
Check the feeders around the house on the left about a mile from Hwy 160.
All three species of Rosy Finches have been recorded here.
- 9.Madden Peak Road
One of the best places to find Purple Martin in La Plata County.
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