Tuesday, July 11, 2017

7/11 Elk Creek Campground & Some Swallows

I'll be taking more photos of this campground tomorrow, but I wanted to post what I had because they included some adorable barn swallows!  I drove here yesterday from Ridgway and Montrose, where I stopped for a hair cut, groceries, and bike repair.  Pretty drive, but you can see storms are forming here and there.

This is the Blue Mesa Reservoir. 

The highway cuts back and forth across the long reservoir lake. 

This whole area is part of Curecanti National Forest and the reservoir is at about 7,500 feet in elevation. 

This is Elk Creek Campground, where I am staying. 

These photos were taken at the visitor center, under the roof overhang on the second floor observation area.

Pretty wild hairdos on these birds!  The fourth baby is hiding in the back. 

Notice that barn swallows have open, cup-shaped nests out of mud.  That makes it easy to see and identify their babies.  The babies are also incredibly noisy, so all you have to do is look for where all the noise is coming from!  This is another nest on the first level of the building.  The bird on the right was pecking at the one on the left! 

Also, under the overhang, but around the corner were some cliff swallows.  They build their nests in colonies and the nests are shaped like gourds with narrow openings--making it harder to see babies.  I did see some birds going in and out, but could not get any photos.

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