Aspen Birding IV : Ute Park/Cemetery etc

Aspen Birding IV : Ute Park/Cemetery etc

When:  August 2019                Weather: warm  15-25C

Leica M10P, Nikon P900, Sony RX10mk4

We stayed at the Little Nell Hotel in the centre of Aspen for our meeting and we were able to walk to many of the local, interesting places.  John Denver was of course the quintessential country singer who lived and died tragically of a plane crash in Colorado.  His music and songs which were inspired by the beauty and charm of the roaring fork valley and mountains have brightened up our world…there is a memorial to the man and his music right here in Aspen…

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Entrance to the John Denver Sanctuary

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Beautifully landscaped, it is a fitting memorial

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memorial stone

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The lyrics to many of his most famous songs are engraved on stones here….the roaring fork valley is of course in the heart of he Rockies

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I like to explore areas near where I’m staying..and the Ute Trail is right behind the little Nell….so I went there on two occasions, once in the evening and once in the early morning…

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Rebeccas Weiss had told me to try Ute Cemetery instead of the Ute Trail itself which is a stiff climb more for climbers than birders….

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The Ute Cemetery blends into Ute Park without a definite demarcation line…

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First bird of the afternoon was this sparrow

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The sparrows are difficult but this could be an immature chipping sparrow

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the broad tailed HBs were around

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but were reluctant to pose

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song sparrow

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a peaceful place

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female broad tailed HB

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a rustling in the bushes led to this grey white and brown bird

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star bird of the afternoon, a dark-eyed Junco

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Aspen forest

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The ‘Eye’ on the Aspen trees..

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the walk back in the evening allowed close views of the large billed magpie

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large billed magpie

Our last morning in Aspen found me heading to Ute Cemetery for one last birding effort ….the grounds were fairly quiet…

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this river skirts the back of Ute Cemetery

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as the sun rose, it started to pick out the top of Aspen mountains

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song sparrow

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chipmunk

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It was so quiet I had to photograph the trees!

It looked as if the morning was going to be one of those barren mornings and I started to head back along Ute avenue to the hotel, when a few broad tailed HBs appeared…

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they buzzed me and provided some nice shots

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not a total washout then, the broad tailed HB in flight

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and then some activity in the leaves…a rather nondescript bird

warbling vireo

A warbling vireo..a lifer!

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Warbling vireo

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Mountain chickadee

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and then a flash of blue appeared…

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One of my target birds of aspen…the Steller’s Jay

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Steller’s Jay posing

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Steller’s Jay

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Steller’s Jay feeding

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The Steller’s Jay was a suitable last bird to end our Coloradan adventure!

So what started out as a quiet morning birdwise ended up being quite decent in the end and we departed Aspen in good spirits.

The Ute Cemetery and Park are a reasonable option for a short bird outing. Recommended

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