A beautiful, cloudless bright day today with a stiff breeze–which made for a quiet day of birding. Five miles outside of Boulder at Walden Ponds–open pits from gravel mining fifty years ago that filled with water and are now a bird sanctuary–mallards and geese made their way across low-lying water. It’s been weeks since our last substantial precipitation. No sign of the bald eagle we saw yesterday afternoon through our binoculars, circling low in the gathering twilight. A few red-winged blackbirds perched in faraway trees.
The one prize viewing of the day was a great horned owl nest high in a cottonwood about a hundred yards off the trail. It was a classic owl nest, a flat array of carefully arranged twigs poking out in all directions. And in the nest, looking for all the world like a cat peering up over the edge–her pointed “ear” tufts and large eyes all we could see of her through field glasses–was mama-to-be brooding her eggs, her head turning slowly this way and that to take in every sound.