In addition to the scenery, there was an opportunity to search out some birds that are representative of the region, a few of which I hadn't seen before.
|Painted Wall, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park|
In Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park my target bird was Green-tailed Towhee. After hiking the southern rim of the canyon for about an hour I was successful, but in the heat of the day the bird remained mostly concealed in the shade of the junipers so I was unable to get a photograph.
In Colorado National Monument my target birds were Gray Vireo and Virginia's Warbler; two range-restricted songbirds that are more-or-less confined to the "four corners" region of the southwestern United States.
Rim Rock Drive, the main road that traverses Colorado National Monument, is an excellent vantage point from which to view Golden Eagles and Turkey Vultures as they soar along the canyon rim.
|Independence Rock, Colorado National Monument|
On my return to Denver, I stopped at Vega State Park mid-way up the western slope of the Rockies where I was fortunate to observe a very obliging Dusky Flycatcher; a bird that I had somehow missed on previous trips out west.