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.
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.
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.