North Park Birding Weekend with Denver Audubon

July 29-31, 2022

Western Grebe With Chicks - Stock

Summer in Colorado’s High Country brings baby birds, doting parents, and ID challenges in the myriad of available habitats in Clear Creek, Grand, Jackson and Larimer counties. Join Denver Audubon and Reefs to Rockies in this 3-day trip to North Park in search of colonial waterbirds, sagebrush, and forest birds. Highlights may include piggy-backing grebes and other waterfowl, raptors, Sage Thrashers, and maybe even Greater Sage-Grouse or Moose!

A portion of the proceeds from this trip help fund Denver Audubon’s school, family, and conservation programs.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Berthoud Pass
  • Windy Gap Reservoir
  • Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge
  • Lake John
  • State Forest State Park
  • Cameron Pass
  • Larimer County hotspots

ITINERARY

Day 1 (Fri, July 29): Denver/Granby/Walden ~ We will arrange a meeting spot in west Denver before continuing up I-70 to US 40 and Berthoud Pass. The rest stop on Berthoud Pass often has high elevation birds including Canada Jay, Pine Grosbeak, and Cassin’s Finch. Next is Windy Gap Reservoir near Granby for waterfowl, American White Pelicans, and more. We’ll continue on toward the town of Walden with possible stops along the way based on recent sightings and group’s interest. Sunset may yield surprises!

Accommodations: North Park Inn

Meals: Lunch

Day 2 (Sat, July 30): North Park Hotspots ~ The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge Auto Tour and Moose–Goose Nature Trail start our day in North Park. There should be ample opportunities for viewing waterfowl, Sora, and sagebrush species including Sage Thrasher, Green-tailed Towhee, Brewer’s Sparrow, and more. We’ll continue to Lake John where we hope to get lucky spotting Western Grebes with babies in tow (no guarantees in birding!) The town of Walden also harbors good birds, including roosting Common Nighthawks. Additional North Park stops dependent on recent sightings and group’s interest.

Accommodations: North Park Inn

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 (Sun, July 31): Walden/Cameron Pass/Fort Collins/Denver ~ We’ll start this day with any North Park mop-ups or head straight to Moose Visitor Center feeders at State Forest State Park. Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Gray-headed Junco, Steller’s Jay, Hairy Woodpecker, and even Pine Grosbeak frequent these feeders. We’ll stop atop Cameron Pass and look briefly for higher elevation species including Canada Jay and Brown-capped Rosy-Finch before continuing down Poudre Canyon toward Fort Collins. Stops in “the Fort” may include Watson Lake or Prospect Ponds before continuing back to Denver with a 5 pm arrival time planned.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

DETAILS

Price: $950* per person based on two people sharing double occupancy accommodations. Add $145* for private, single occupancy accommodations.

Inclusions: accommodations, guide (Tom Bush from Front Range Birding Co.), driver/guide (Sheridan Samano from Reefs to Rockies), daily guided birding with spotting scopes available, permits and entrance fees, and meals as listed in the itinerary.

Exclusions: two dinners and activities not listed in the itinerary.

*A 3% discount will be applied to payments by check.

Group Size: Min 4 and Max 6 participants + 2 guides. We are known for smaller group sizes with a better birder to guide ratio than most companies offering similar itineraries.  This trip starts and ends in the west Denver Metro area (possibly the T-Rex Park-N-Ride lot on the NE corner of I-70 and CR93/ Morrison Exit 259.)

Level of Difficulty: Easy – This trip primarily involves short walks on mostly level gravel roads, paths, sidewalks, or boardwalks. Terrain may be uneven at times, but is not difficult to navigate. Most walks will be under a mile with a total distance of up to three miles on a given day.