Home Field Advantage – July 28, 2011

While at Sabine Woods this April, I ran into Lynn Barber.  I kidded her that she had a “home field advantage” for her 2008 “ABA Big Year” by living in Texas. But when it comes to Galliformes (Grouse) I definitely have a home field advantage.  Today I decided to excercise that advantage with a trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park.  I met my brother Bill in Lyons then headed up to Wild Basin to meet Gary Matthews at the trailhead to Copeland Falls and beyond.  Gary had received a hot tip from Judy Wright that there was a hen with chicks right near the falls two days ago.  We gave it a good once over then decided to reurn to the car and go up on top for ptarmigan.  We hadn’t walked 100 yards when Bill spotted this hen watching over two chicks.  Very nice indeed.

Dusky Grouse in Wild Basin (Photo by Gary Matthews)

Boosted by this success, we drove up to Trail Ridge Rd. in Rocky Mountain Park to try for White-tailed Ptarmigan.  Gary had a favorite spot which thus far this year has been a bust. But not today. Gary found a hen and a chick.

White-tailed Ptarmigan on Trail Ridge Rd. (Photo by Gary Matthews)

Not a bad 1/2 day in the National Park!  I’m now at 686 and fly early tomorrow to Norfolk, VA for the drive to Hatteras.  Stay tuned, never know what will show up in the Atlantic Ocean.

Bill V, Gary Matthews and John V (Photo by Lady on the Trail)

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2 Responses to Home Field Advantage – July 28, 2011

  1. Wes Hatch says:

    GRAY HOODED GULL Coney Island Beach New York. https://picasaweb.google.com/Douglas.Gochfeld/

    Looks good to me!

    Wes

  2. Tom Wilberding says:

    Go John, go! Tip ‘o the hat to Gary.
    Barb and I will do a Westport, WA pelagic on August 20. If we can scout anything for you let me know.

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