|A view of North Park, east of Walden|
The first stop was the Moose Visitor Center, which we visited last August, arriving after 5PM so couldn't go inside. But we did see lots of hummers and our first Black-headed Grosbeak (female) at the feeders on their porch. This time pouring rain made it impossible to visit the feeders or go on moose patrol on the trails out back. With temperatures in the 40's jolting us into fall, we headed on to Walden for lunch at the River Rock Cafe to warm us up. Meatloaf special followed by a slice of chocolate cake ala mode. A warning about RRC desserts - they are gigantic, serving 3-4. We took home half of our shared single slice of cake!
|Click pic to enlarge and read book title under leg|
|American Avocet; winter plumage|
Mike captured closeup images of some yellow-headed blackbirds and grackles. On the lake we saw lots of Pelicans, Cormorants, Mallards, some Lesser Scaups a pair of grebes far out that we think might have been horned grebes in winter plumage. On our way out, Avocets in their lovely winter plumage and some waders were on the southern edge of Walden Reservoir.
|Northern Harrier hunting at Arapaho NWR|
Earlier in the spring at a bend in the road near the end of the NWR Auto Tour, we noticed the strangest looking prairie dogs ever. So unusual were their markings that we initially weren't even sure what they were.
|Prairie Dog research area at Arapaho NWR|
After we got home, we Googled the project and learned the research is headed up by Dr. John Hoogland. An article that originally appeared in the Washington Post gives more information: Far From the Prairie, Professor Makes Waves (scroll down the page to the second story).
A full rainbow over the Refuge near sunset rounded out our mellow day.
|Rainbow at Arapho NWR|