Tag Archives: Sprague Lake

~A few remaining photos from our day trip to Rocky National Park with out-of-town friends

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Looking for food.
Looking for food.
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Trying to hide
Notice the beautiful yellow throat, and the yellow patches on the sides and on top of the head.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet looking for food in the pines.
IMG_3774This little guy was flitting around from branch to branch and tree to tree, so this is the best photo I could capture of his ruby crowned head.
The header photo is a Pink-sided Junco, which was busy hunting for food in and around patches of snow. I was lucky it decided to get a better view of its surrounding by hopping up on this boulder.
It was a fun day that will be treasured always!

Sharing with:

Stewart at paying-ready-attention for Wild Bird Wednesday

Michelle at Rambling Woods for Nature Notes #312

 

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~A new bird, Willows and an old Beaver Dam

On Monday, while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, I observed two small sparrow like birds in a bush near the water. Turns out they are Brewer’s Sparrows. I was grateful to get these photos; they sure didn’t want to be seen.

I haven’t seen this bird before so it becomes number 386 on my Birding Life List!

Brewer's Sparrow
Brewer’s Sparrow. Note the complete and conspicuous white eye-ring.
#386
Brown crown with fine black streaks. Upper parts buffy-brown and streaked.
Hiding
Hiding! Number 386.
Close-up of a Willow Bush, just starting to bloom.
Close-up of a Willow Bush, just starting to bloom.
Willows are the dominant woody shrub on almost all wet meadow or riparian areas in the park. They establish on point bars, abandoned beaver ponds, and abandoned channels or ox-bows.
Fun Facts:
  • Willows can establish from seeds or from willow roots or stems that implant into the ground. Shoots from the roots are important because they allow existing willow plants and root systems to maintain themselves for long periods of time.
  • They provide shade to streams and critical habitat for a large number of terrestrial and aquatic species.
  • They slow water flow and allow the ground to absorb water and nutrients.
  • They stabilize stream banks.
  • They provide food and construction material for beavers and their dams which benefit ecosystem processes.
  • Willow growth and height in the park is determined by large ungulate and beaver browsing. Willows have evolved defenses against browsing. They can grow tall very rapidly beyond the height of browsing or they can produce defense compounds that make them less palatable to large ungulates like moose and elk.
  • Willow have declined in Rocky Mountain National Park meadows because there are fewer beaver and elk overbrowse their leaves and stems.

Info taken from park web-site:

An old Beaver Dam
An old Beaver Dam. Notice the Willows.

~Common Ravens?

Gay’s Black & White Photo Challenge #3

Black & White Photo Challenge #3
Bird Four
IMG_3756
So long

I have been sitting here, for awhile with several bird books, trying to decide if these birds are all the same species and if they are Common Ravens.

Please let me know what you think –  Common Ravens (Y/N).

Bird One:

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Bird Two:

IMG_3703

IMG_3707

IMG_3710
Best photo to view all feature descriptions.

 Bird Three:

IMG_3751
This one if my favorite. Notice the eye; he was watching me.

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Showing shaggy neck.
Showing shaggy neck.

 

~A handsome fellow with a green head

~

Through the trees,

 at water’s edge,

A handsome fellow,

with a green head.

Through the Trees at Waters Edge
Through the Trees at Waters Edge

~

Enjoys a swim,

and searching for food,

head first he plunges,

unaware he is being viewed.

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IMG_3831~

Using his feet,

to paddle around,

he goes in circles,

not making a sound.

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~

Water swirls,

up he pops,

needs a breath,

off his body water drops.

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IMG_3829~

Head first he tries again,

makes a wider circle,

paddles faster,

focused on his purpose.

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~

This male Mallard made us giggle. We watched him tipping head first into the pond and using his feet to paddle around searching for seeds, plants and snails.

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~Rocky Mountain National Park-Our walk around Sprague Lake

As we walked around the lake every now and then a cold gust of wind would make us want to hunker down. We would bring jacket hoods up and hands would seek the warmth of pockets. The gusts of wind wouldn’t last and the beauty surrounding us motivated us onward.

Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

There were some hardy souls in the lake fly fishing. What a lovely way to spend a few hours.

A happy guy fly fishing at Sprague Lake
A happy guy fly fishing at Sprague Lake
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Check out that arch!
Lots of snow in the mountains.
Lots of snow in the mountains.
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
She Awakens
She Awakens

As we were driving out of Rocky toward Estes Park, seeking a late lunch, we saw three young bull Elk taking a snooze. This is the featured image from above; this young bull Elk looked very tired. He was laying his head on a tree stump.

Another Sleeping Beauty?
Another Sleeping Beauty?

More photos to come! I hope you enjoyed your visit to Sprague Lake today.

~Black and White Photo Challenge-Photo Two

I apologize for the delay in posting Photo Two of Gay’s Black and White Photo Challenge. I will blame the delay on the two in the photo below. {grins} Thanks guys for providing this photo.

Howard, Paul and Rhonda
Howard, Paul and Rhonda

Our friends, Paul and Rhonda, came for a visit and we decided to take a ride up to Rocky Mountain National Park and walked around Sprague Lake. Monday was a beautiful day for a ride and a short hike with blue skies and white puffy clouds. We enjoyed a fun couple of days and look forward to their return to Colorado.

A little history about Sprague Lake…

Abney Sprague homesteaded in the area more that a century ago, around 1874, and created a trout pond by damming a stream. This pond is known today as Sprague lake.

Sprague Lake offers magnificent views of some of the highest peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. As you walk around the lake and gaze up toward these peaks you are looking at part of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, which extends from the Canadian border in Montana, through Rocky Mountain National Park, to the border of Mexico.

Rocky Mountain National Park is breathtaking with 12,000 foot mountain peaks, 300 miles of hiking trails, gorgeous wildflowers, abundant wildlife and much more. I took many photos on Monday and will be posting some in the next few days.