ABA Camp Colorado Adventure Part 1-A Day of Lifers!

For the past five days, I have had the great pleasure of visiting Estes Park, Colorado for the young birders camp there run by the fabulous staff at the American Birding Association! I got the YMCA where we would be staying at around 8:00 PM. I did not really have time for birding the first day but we did see some  birds on the hour and a half drive there from the airport and I got three lifers already! Those included Swainson’s Hawk, Western Kingbird and White-throated Swift. The next day we woke up at 6:30 AM and drove a few miles to Endo Valley and Beaver Meadows in Rocky Mountain National Park where we spent the whole day. The species we got there were amazing! I enjoyed every single individual bird equally, even the ones that weren’t lifers! I did get a total of 18 lifers including Red-naped Sapsucker, Red-shafted Flicker, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Red Crossbill, Hairy Woodpecker, Steller’s Jay, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Western-wood Peewee, Western Phoebe, Green-tailed Towhee, Dusky Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Band-tailed Pigeon, Pygmy Nuthatch and Cordilleran Flycatcher!!! I also got the biggest nemesis bird ever, the Hairy Woodpecker! Ever since I started birding four years ago I have been looking for Hairy Woodpeckers! One time one was heard on a birding trip I was on only while I was in the bathroom! I soon learned that the birds were not the only thing that were amazing about Colorado and the Rockies, but the diversity of mammals, insects, wildflowers, trees, shrubs and even lichens was mind-boggling! Not to mention that the mountains themselves were beautiful! My favorite trees are Mimosa, Quaking Aspen and Weeping Willow trees, and I saw all three on this trip! Some highlights of the trip were outstanding looks at a Western Tanager near its nest, great looks at an Olive-sided Flycatcher, watching a Red-naped Sapsucker feed its young, a Broad-tailed Hummingbird that buzzed right past my face, a Broad-tailed Hummingbird nest and finally getting Hairy Woodpecker! Here is a list of all the species of animals and plants we saw:

Birds (36 species, 18 lifers):
Violet Green Swallow 30
Black-billed Magpie 6
Mountain Chickadee 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Mountain Bluebird 1
*Red-naped Sapsucker 3
*Red-shafted Flicker 6
American Robin 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Chipping Sparrow 4
*Lincoln’s Sparrow 3
*Broad-tailed Hummingbird 3
Tree Swallow 5
Red-tailed Hawk 2
*Red Crossbill 1
Western Tanager 3
*Pygmy Nuthatch 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
*Hairy Woodpecker 1
*Steller’s Jay 2
*Hammond’s Flycatcher 1
*Olive-sided Flycatcher 1
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Peregrine Falcon 1
Pine Siskin 1
Turkey Vulture 1
*Williamson’s Sapsucker 3
*Western-wood Peewee 1
American Goldfinch 1
*Western Phoebe 1
*Green-tailed Towhee 2
*Dusky Flycatcher 1
*Warbling Vireo 1
*Band-tailed Pigeon 1
*Cordilleran Flycatcher 1
Dark-eyed Junco

Lepidoptera (3 species, 3 lifers):
*Clouded Sulphur
*Gray Hairstreak
*Gulf Fritillary
Moth Spp.

Mammals (3 species, 2 lifers):
Red Squirrel
*Wyoming Ground Squirrel
*Mountain Cottontail

Trees (6 species, 2 lifers):
Quaking Aspen
*Ponderosa Pine
*Rocky Mountain Maple
Douglas Fir
Weeping Willow

Wildflowers (10 species, 9 lifers):
*Tea Roses
*Common Ground Thistle
*Common Harebell
*Wild Geranium
*Black-eyed Susan
*Alpine Buttercup

Lichens (1 species, 1 lifer):
*Candleflame lichen

Mountain Cottontail
Gray Hairstreak
Western Tanager
Red Squirrel
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)
Violet Green Swallow
Tea Rose
Candleflame Lichen
Ponderosa Pine
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-naped Sapsucker
Wyoming Ground Squirrel
Quaking Aspen