North Park Birding Weekend with Front Range Birding Company

August 5-7, 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 Front Range Birding Company 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 The Jason Dahl Scholarship Foundation.

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, Aug 5): 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 like 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 interest. Sunset may yield surprises!

Accommodations: North Park Inn

Meals: Lunch

Day 2 (Sat, Aug 6): North Park Hotspots ~ The Arapaho NWR 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 like Sage Thrasher, Green-tailed Towhee, Brewer’s Sparrow and more. We’ll continue to Lake John where we hope to get lucky with spotting Western Grebes with babies in tow (no guarantees in birding!) The town of Walden also harbors some good birds, including roosting Common Nighthawks, with additional North Park stops dependent on recent sightings and group interest.

Accommodations: North Park Inn

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 (Sun, Aug 7): Walden/Cameron Pass/Fort Collins/Denver ~ We’ll start this day with any North Park mop-ups or head straight to the Moose Visitor Center feeders at the State Forest SP. Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Gray-headed Junco, Steller’s Jay, Hairy Woodpecker, and even Pine Grosbeak frequent these feeders.  We will stop atop Cameron Pass and look briefly for some higher elevation species Canada Jay and Brown-capped Rosy-Finch before continuing down Poudre Canyon toward Ft Collins.  Stops in “the Fort” may include Watson Lake and/or Prospect Ponds (depending upon recent sightings and time) before continuing back to Denver with a 5pm 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 (Chip Clouse from Reefs to Rockies), driver/guide (Tom Bush from Front Range Birding Co.), 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.