Birding Pueblo

American Robin_RoselawnCemetery-Blende-CO_LAH_0764For years, whenever I’ve gone to Pueblo to go birding, I’ve headed to Lake Pueblo state park. How can any place else compete with a large reservoir surrounded by arid open space, watered picnic areas, and, along the Arkansas River below the dam, a birdy stretch of riparian trees and bushes. Pueblo Reservoir gets its share of rarities as well—out-of-state gulls in particular. I’ve picked up a number of lifers there.

This time, however, we went to Pueblo and didn’t go to the state park! I’d heard that there are other places in Pueblo where you can find birds. Well, maybe.

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Eagle Days 2011

gyrfalcon_lakepueblosp_lah_5104-1I’ve learned the lesson once again. If you stay home, you won’t get any photos. If you go out, you may still come up empty handed—or you just might be surprised.

The forecast was for snow and cold, but Lake Pueblo State Park was celebrating their 15th Annual Eagle Days. We couldn’t miss that! So I layered a jacket over a sweatshirt over a thin turtle-necked top over long underwear, piled about 30 pounds of camera gear into my pick-up, threw in a ham sandwich, hat, gloves, binos, field guide, and notepad, and headed south.

As I drove through the quiet early morning streets, I eyed the clouds boiling over the mountains to the west. I figured that the odds for getting photos worth keeping were pretty low but at least I’d enjoy the day with some birding friends.

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