Sunday Morning Songbirds

On this mild, sunny morning along the Colorado Front Range, I headed down to Chatfield State Park for a hike south of the reservoir.  There, a swath of riparian woodlands line the South Platte, extending westward as open woodlands on the grasslands and wetlands that stretch below the foothills.  Trails lace this area, providing attractive avenues for both exercise and nature study.

This morning, songbirds were numerous in those woodlands.  Lazuli buntings, yellow-breasted chats, yellow warblers, rufous-sided towhees, American and lesser goldfinches, Bullock's orioles, western kingbirds, broad-tailed hummingbirds and a lone blue grosbeak were found in the open areas while the riverside woods attracted house wrens, downy woodpeckers, northern flickers, gray catbirds, black-capped chickadees, blue jays, western wood pewees and white-breasted nuthatches.  Of course, other birds passed overhead, including double-crested cormorants, great blue herons, tree swallows, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels and, along the foothills, a golden eagle.

I suppose I could have sought inspiration elsewhere on this beautiful Sunday morning, but a stroll through natural ecosystems is, for me, impossible to surpass.