Sunday, September 04, 2011

Looking Back: Colorado 2

.If Rocky Mountain National Park was rather disappointing for birds, it certainly wasn't disappointing as regards scenery.

The drive from the lush meadows and forests of the lower sections of the park up to the Alpine Center (at 11,000 feet) is spectacular.

I was surised to find that wildflowers were still blooming everywhere.

The higher sections of the drive take you through tundra, a landscape that seems fairly barren and uninteresting until you look carefully and see that it is absolutely alive with small plants and lichens.

After spending most of the day in Rocky Mountain, I headed back to Denver, stopping off at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Nature Reserve. A hot afternoon is not the best time to bird this site but it still turned up some interesting birds. Based on what I saw on previous visits, a Horned Lark was a pleasant surprise but I was expecting a Swainson's Hawk.

I also had good looks at a Loggerhead Shrike and a Western Kingbird.

Tuesday morning I flew back to Houston, where I spent the night before hitting the road again on Wednesday. This time I was going up to Missoula, Montana. I was excited because I'd never been to Montana before and I was going to have time to spend two days in and around Glacier National Park. I was hoping for dramatic scenery and perhaps some new birds. I wasn't disappointed.

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