St. Vrain State Park

I took a break from my very amateur birdwatching during the fall — the weather was too perfect for bike riding, and I rarely have time for both. However, now we have a fresh batch of snow on the ground and days with highs of ~30 degrees, so my binoculars have been seeing more action.

This weekend Dan and I opened our map of Colorado’s state parks and chose St. Vrain, about 45 minutes from Fort Collins.

St. Vrain is tailored for camping and fishing — when we pulled up and asked a ranger where we might walk around, we got a bit of an odd look. (I think he assumed we meant hike.)

Once the ranger realized we were prepared to tromp through the snow and look for birds, he recommended Pelican Pond. Dan and I circled Pelican as well as Blue Heron Pond for about 2.5 miles of birdwatching (during which we saw exactly one other pair of people, walking a dog).

Though birds are somewhat more sparse in the winter, I think Dan and I cleaned up. My list included bald eagle (seen above, photo by Dan), blue heron, kestrel, belted kingfisher, lesser scaup (new to me), red-breasted merganser, common goldeneye, and more.

Hello, gorgeous.
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