Road trip to Colorado

After three long days of driving, I am finally back in Colorado!  My labmate and I left Canada on Monday (May 30th), which may be a miscalculation because it was Memorial Day in US and we sat and waited in the car for almost two hours to cross the border.  Because of the delay, we spent the first night in Ann Arbor, Michigan (instead of the usual first night destination: Kalamazoo).

We saw two White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) outside our hotel the following morning.

We stopped at a rest area for lunch (don't remember where) and saw a Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) hanging around this tree cavity.

Hairy with something in its beak looking around before entering the cavity.

Unknown jumping spider (Family Salticidae)
We also saw this large jumping spider.

Jumping spider with harvestman
And moments later, it attacked a harvestman!

At this rest stop, my labmate befriended a Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) by feeding it peanut butter, which caused a stranger to think that it was her pet.  My labmate is also a pretty keen birder, so we kept a list of the birds saw along the way.  At one bathroom break stop, we saw two memorable species - Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) and Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) - both of which are lifers for me!

Western Meadowlark

Great Crested Flycatcher

We finally entered Colorado in the afternoon of the third day.

Eastern Colorado landscape
A picturesque image.

Eastern half of Colorado is quite flat.

Until we reach Denver and enter the mountain ranges.  This was taken at Kenosha Pass.

Kenosha Pass
Kenosha Pass

Western Colorado landscape
Stopped at Buena Vista for gas, before arriving at Gothic late last night.

Below is the list of birds we saw during the road trip:

- European Starlings
- American Robins 
- American Crows
- Ring-billed Gulls
- Red-winged Blackbirds
- Common Grackles
- Turkey Vultures
- Common Ravens
- Wild Turkey
- Osprey
- Tree Swallows
- Great Blue Herons
- Barn Swallows
- Red-tailed Hawk
- Bobolink
- Mourning Doves
- Eastern Kingbird
- House Sparrows
- Canada Geese
- Killdeer
- Northern Flicker
- Rock Pigeons
- Bank Swallows
- Blue Jay 
- Yellow Warbler
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Northern Cardinals
- American Coots
- Great-tailed Grackles
- Mallard
- Double-crested Cormorants
- Cliff Swallows
- Great Crested Flycatcher
- Western Meadowlark
- Black Vulture
- Black-billed Magpies
- Broad-winged Hummingbird

Can't wait to the field season to begin!

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