Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Good afternoon!

We had a successful last open day for the season today! It was warm with a temperature of 41°F, and cloudy skies. 13 birds were seen in the North Meadow, chasing, fighting, and displaying. 2 more birds were seen on top of the East Ridge, for a total of 15 birds for our last viewing day!

The 8th, 9th, and 10th will all be closed days.

Thank you all for a great season with lots of Gunnison sage grouse! We look forward to seeing you all next year!

Happy birding!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Good morning!

Over the weekend we had some typical days on the lek. About 2-3 males were seen on the East Ridge both mornings, and the temperatures were still pretty cold at about 28°F.

This morning was 33°F with a slight breeze and very little cloud cover. The ground was damp, and the meadow and traditional lek continue to be flooded from spring runoff and other precipitation. Birds in the North Meadow flushed at about 6:30, and the grouse on the ridge were visible for about 15 minutes before they stepped over to the other side. No birds were seen after 7:00am. A total of 7 males, 1 female, and 1 unknown were seen.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 5/7) is the last open day for the season. May 8, 9, and 10th will be closed days.

Hope to see everyone out there tomorrow morning!

Happy birding!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Good afternoon!

We have been having much better weather in Gunnison the past few days! The mornings are still pretty cold (around 27°F), but the days have been clear and warm with a little breeze!

For the past two closed days, three birds were seen today, and none were seen the day before. We are at a farther distance, and visibility is hard where we are parked on closing days, so don't let that worry you! There are still birds on the lek, and you still have a great chance of seeing them!

Only 13 more days for the Waunita watchable wildlife site to be open, so be sure to plan your trips and get out to see these incredible birds!

Happy birding!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Good afternoon!

This morning we had a snow storm on the lek! Visibility was very low with gusty winds, and no birds were seen. Hopefully we get some better weather soon!

Tomorrow and Friday are closed days. Hopefully this will give the chance for the grouse to warm up a little, and get back to their usual activities!

See you on Saturday!

Happy birding!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Good morning!

Saturday 4/27
Early in the morning, around 6:15 am, three Golden eagles were seen flying over the North Meadow and the East Ridge. 10 unknown birds were flushed from the top of the East Ridge and flew south and over the ridge when the eagles flew over. The Golden eagles stayed sitting on the ridge for the rest of the morning. 2 males were seen on top of the ridge later in the morning. 1 male and 1 female were seen in the North Meadow but not seen again after early morning.
14 birds total, 3 males, 1 female, 10 unknown

Sunday 4/28
The weather was cloudy and there was a light drizzle throughout the morning. Our volunteers saw 4 males throughout the morning.

Monday 4/29
This morning was overcast and a temperature of 36°F. At 6:08 am, a coyote was seen in the North Meadow, heading into the thick row of willows. One minute later, 11 birds were flushed (I'm guessing from the coyote!) and flew to the west. 4 males were identified, but the rest were unknown. After this, there were no more birds viewed in the North Meadow for the rest of the morning. At 7:00 am, 1 male was seen on the top of the East Ridge, and about 30 minutes later, a total of 3 males were seen on top of the ridge. We saw a total of 14 birds this morning...much better than the last few days!

It is getting later in the season, and we are seeing fewer females. Once they have bred, they move to their breeding site, and stay there throughout the rest of the summer. The males will stick around the lek for a longer period of time, in case any females show up later in the season, which is why we are seeing more males than females.

Many elk have been seen on the East Ridge and North Meadow. They don't seem to bother the grouse, and are fun to watch!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Good afternoon!

Even though its windy, rainy, and cold now, we had a beautiful morning this morning! There were mostly clear skies, no wind and it was 27°F at the lek site.

We saw 11 Gunnison sage grouse this morning. 7 males in the North Meadow, and 4 males on the East Ridge. The birds in the meadow have left by 6:30 this morning, and yesterday morning, and I am not quite sure why that is. There could be a predator that we are not seeing, or the weather could be affecting them. Not really sure why, but all I know is, they are leaving pretty early from the North Meadow. The birds on the ridge, however, can still be seen all morning long!

This storm is supposed to clear up late tonight, so hopefully in the morning we have nice weather!

Happy birding!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hello everyone!

We had a great morning this morning! I believe it was our first morning with temperatures above 30°F! (Temp was 31°F!) We had clear skies, and no wind! Spring is here! There is no more snow left on the site, which is making it tricky to find the birds! Make sure you are watching for movement, and the males white chest!

This morning we saw 11 birds; 6 males in the North Meadow, and 5 males on the East Ridge. All of the birds in the North Meadow seemed to have flushed by about 6:30am. There was nothing seen as to why this was, but my guess is a predator that we just didn't see...but who knows! The birds on the ridge could be seen popping back and forth over the top all morning, and looked beautiful being back-lit by the sunlight!

See you all tomorrow and happy birding!