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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Crow Valley Campground

October 9th, 2014 · No Comments

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During our three-day visit to the Pawnee National Grassland, Sharon and I birded every day at Crow Valley Campground. While a campground might sound like an unlikely place to find birds, it is in fact the premier place in the entire grassland.

​This oasis “is one of the state’s premier migrant traps,” says Colorado County Birding in the strange terminology that birders use. “​I​t is isolated in the middle of the prairie and is bordered on the south and west by nice groves of trees, in places quite thick, with extensive trails and underbrush.”

​​​Crow Valley Campground from the Trail of the Mourning Dove​

Crow Valley Campground from the Trail of the Mourning Dove

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The Birdwalk Trail through the large grove of old cottonwoods on the southwest side of the campground has the most birds. I got one good shot there when this warbler came out of the thicket and into the sun.

The Black Crown Patch Distinguishes a Male Wilson's Warbler

The Black Crown Patch Distinguishes a Male Wilson's Warbler

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But Sharon and I were able to get much closer to the birds and other wildlife that visited a small pond near the end of the Trail of the Mourning Dove to the campground’s north.

​A Dragonfly Hunts Over the Pond

A Dragonfly Hunts Over the Pond

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Fish evolved into birds, of course. But I never could see the connection until I saw this Wilson’s Warbler in flight.​

A Wilson's Warbler -- Not a Flying Fish

A Wilson's Warbler -- Not a Flying Fish

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​A Female Western Tanager Drinks at the Pond

A Female Western Tanager Drinks at the Pond

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She Flies Toward Me

She Flies Toward Me

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A Sage Thrasher Sit in a Russian Olive

A Sage Thrasher Sit in a Russian Olive

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A Gray Catbird Mews Like a Cat

A Gray Catbird Mews Like a Cat

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A Cedar Waxwing Is One of My Favorites​

A Cedar Waxwing Is One of My Favorites

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​Then, all at once, all the birds disappeared. A Cooper’s Hawk had flown to the Russian Olive tree in hopes of eating one of them.

The Hawk is Hungry

The Hawk is Hungry

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​​The Hawk is Hungry

The Hawk Remained Hungry

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​But it left without success.

​Meanwhile, I rested. I had worked hard enough for one morning.

​Sharon Could Wake Me When the Birds Came Back

Sharon Could Wake Me When the Birds Came Back

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