Favorite Locations
There are so many amazing places close to home for us to explore. Half of the fun is just being out alone in the mountains, or walking along some stream with nobody else around. Actually finding something is secondary at times. It all depends on how much time we have. One long weekend, the boy and I road tripped to Monte Vista for the Sandhill Cranes. Stunning to think they have been doing to same routine for over 1 million years.

Here are some of my favorite places close to home and around the state.
Chatfield State Park -
My local favorite for sure. A large variety of species and very close to home. Great water birds since it is the largest body of water near me.
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Reynolds Park -
Close rugged mountain setting with great trails, and usually very few people. Love the woodpeckers!
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Walden Ponds -
The diversity of the ponds and nearby Boulder creek always make for an interesting visit.
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Rocky Mountain National Park (east side) -
We have a cabin outside of Grand Lake, so this side of the park is magical to us. Much fewer people than the Estes Park side. Not only Ospreys, Eagles and birds galore...but Moose, Elk and a chance for all sorts of mammals.
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Wheatridge Green Belt -
Lots of good stuff, but a little crowded for my liking much of the time. I'll keep going until I can get a good shot of the elusive Virginia Rails.
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DIA Owl Loop -
Great drive to see eagles, owls and more hawks than you can shake a stick at. Drive around the east side of the runways.
Eastern Screech Owl - Deceptively hard to find! I was given a tip at this guy hanging out at a park in Littleton. The whole family and I went out at dark to locate the whinny and trills they are known for. Sure enough, we pinpointed there locale and were able to find him in daylight the next day. They are so incredibly camouflaged, it makes you wonder how many owls we don't see...
Merlin - Great story. My son and I are wondering around Chico Basin and we spook a bunch of sparrows from some brush as we are walking buy. Out of nowhere the Merlin swoops in 15 ft in front of us and nails one of the sparrows. Unbelievably fast creatures. If you look closely, you can see him with a part of the sparrow in his beak. I still feel sorry for the sparrow (it was an accident, I swear)...but damn that was cool to see.