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Grouse Leks

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Old Saturday 27th October 2007, 19:00   #1
Mark Harper
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Grouse Leks

I am in the process of planning a trip to Colorado for next spring. I have obtained a copy of "A Birder's Guide to Colorado" and have read on several websites about the leks of various species, but some of the information is old and it is hard to establish which are currently the best public leks.

If anyone has visited any of the leks in Spring 2007 and can advise on which are the best sites to visit it would be much appreciated.

I am also interested in any currently good sites for Three-toed Woodpecker.

Thanks Mark
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Old Friday 2nd November 2007, 03:06   #2
LindaCO
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Hi Mark,
I haven't visited any leks yet (it's on my list though!), but perhaps you could utilize the Colorado Field Ornithologists listserve at [email protected]. The website is at http://www.cfo-link.org/index.php. Maybe someone there would be able to answer your question.

Good Birding,
Linda
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Old Friday 2nd November 2007, 18:13   #3
Mark Harper
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Thanks for the info Linda. Will get in touch with them nearer the time.
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Old Saturday 17th May 2008, 17:00   #4
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Just thought I would update this thread with where I saw the various Grouse.

Dusky Grouse - Easy at dawn along south rim road in Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park

Greater Sage-Grouse - Delaney Buttes Lek. From Walden head west on the 12W, then north on Country Road 7 a mile or so past the turn off to Lake John the road goes downhill steeply and the lek is on the right. (At the time of our visit there was a hide for private tours, making the lek easy to find). Viewing from the road is probably best in the evening as the sun is behind you.

Gunnison Sage-Grouse - Waunita Hot Springs Lek. 19 miles east of Gunnison on Highway 50, turn north on to Countyr Road 887. The parking area is 0.6 miles on the right and the Grouse lek on the flat area, just before the hill directly opposite the parking area.

Sharp-tailed Grouse - Twenty Mile Road Lek. Head 5 miles east of Hayden on US-40, then turn south on Country Road 27. One mile after passing under the powerlines there is a gate into a field on the left, the birds were lekking on the hill to the east. (Have also read reports of them lekking to the west, but this was mostly snow-covered at the time I visited.

Greater Prairie-Chicken - CR45 Lek. From Wray head north on US-385 for about 12 miles then turn east on to CR 45. After 1.5 miles there is a small windmill on the right, drive a couple of hundred metres past this to the top of the next hill. Looking back towards the windmill the birds were displaying to its left.

Lesser Prairie-Chicken - The Campo lek is no longer accessible and as such there are no public leks in Colorado, so the only options are Elkhart in Kansas or as we did a private lek vivist through Arena Dust Tours.

Also found American Three-toed Woodpecker without too much difficulty on the Park View Trail at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Last edited by Mark Harper : Saturday 17th May 2008 at 17:03.
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Old Sunday 25th May 2008, 21:02   #5
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Mark
Thanks, really helpful info, I'm thinking of going next year.
Did you try for White-tailed Ptarmigan? I've read it's become more difficult in April.
John
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Old Monday 26th May 2008, 09:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnraven View Post
Mark
Did you try for White-tailed Ptarmigan? I've read it's become more difficult in April.
John
Yes went up Loveland Pass for White-tailed Ptarmigan on the first afternoon, missed it but did get all three species over Rosy-Finch plus the Hepburn's subspecie feeding right next to the pull-in at the pass summit. Spent an hour or so scanning around for the Ptarmigan and climbed a short distance uphill, but it was howling a gale and well below freezing so decided to return first thing the next morning. The next morning however it was snowing hard, the I-70 was just driveable, lorries needed chains on, but to drive over Loveland Pass all vehicles needed chains, so I never got back up there for another look.

Would definitely recommend going there John, we were late in the season (25th April to 4th May), but this had the advantage of getting a few early migrants, without being too late for the leks.

Last edited by Mark Harper : Monday 26th May 2008 at 09:35.
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Old Monday 26th May 2008, 09:42   #7
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A few photos in case anyone needs convincing to head to Colorado.
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Old Monday 26th May 2008, 16:43   #8
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Thanks Mark, sweet as... All three rosy finches would constitute a dream scenario in my book.

I'm definitely going now. Well, next April. Might try to fit it in with a week in Texas for the migrants. The timing seems to work quite well for such a combo.

John
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Old Saturday 5th July 2008, 10:38   #9
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Trip report now on line at http://www.surfbirds.com/trip_report.php?id=1432
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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 18:58   #10
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Lek?

Sorry, I'm a novice. What's the definition of a lek?

Thanks,

John C
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Old Sunday 28th June 2009, 09:13   #11
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Originally Posted by John_R_C View Post
Sorry, I'm a novice. What's the definition of a lek?

Thanks,

John C
Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lek_(mating_arena)
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