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#ABArare – Brambling – Colorado


A 1st-winter male Brambling was found by Mike Henwood yesterday (19 Nov) at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood, Colorado.  Word got out late last night, and scores of chasers observed the bird coming to scattered seed today, associating with a loose flock of mostly American Tree Sparrows and House Finches.  The code-3 rarity stands to be the state's 3rd accepted record, with the prior two both occurring in the fall/winter of 1983 (an irruption year for the species across much of the US.)

photo © Bill Schmoker, 20 November 2012

The Sixth Edition of the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America describes the bird as, "… fairly common but irregular migrant on Aleutians, rare on Pribilofs and St. Lawrence Island, AK; casual in fall and winter in Canada and northern U.S.; recorded south to central CA.  Has nested on Attu Island (1996)."  The Complete Guide to the Birds of Europe says Brambling, "…winters in C and S Europe, but in mild winters many remain in S Scandinavia."

Mike's directions:  Bear Creek Lake Park is just SE of C470 and Morrison Road. After entering BCLP ($5 entrance fee), stay to the left (North Road) and drive about a mile to the Boat Launch area, where there is a large parking lot to the south.  Please park here and do not park on the sides of the road. Just before reaching the Boat Launch area, there is a wooden sign on the north side of the road that reads COYOTE CROSSING PICNIC AREA.  If you stand here and look about 30 yards to the northeast, you will see a small wooden footbridge spanning the draw with willows on both sides. 

photo © Bill Schmoker, 20 November 2012


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Bill Schmoker

Bill Schmoker

Bill is known in the birding community as a leading digital photographer of birds. Since 2001 he has built a collection of digital bird photos documenting over 640 species of North American birds. His photography has appeared in international nature publications, books, newspapers, interpretive signs, web pages, advertisements, corporate logos, and as references for art works. Also a published writer, Bill wrote a chapter for Good Birders Don't Wear White, is a past Colorado/Wyoming regional editor for North American Birds and is proud to be on the Leica Birding Team. Bill is a Colorado eBird reviewer and is especially fond of his involvement with the ABA's Institute for Field Ornithology and Young Birder Programs. Bill is a popular birding guide, speaker, and workshop instructor, and teaches middle school science in Boulder, Colorado. When he isn’t birding he enjoys family time with his wife and son.
Bill Schmoker

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  • http://www.BirdingIsFun.com Robert Mortensen

    Great photo documentation Bill! Please invite that Brambling to visit me in the Boise Idaho area this weekend.

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