Thursday, April 15, 2010
We drove over to the 80-Road lek to see if any Greater Sage Grouse were still doing their thing. You may remember that this was the road that yesterday we deemed too messy to try. Today the temperature was 24F. So instead of walking in, we decided with everything frozen we would drive in. Our rental car has all-wheel drive so it wasn't that risky a decision. We got down the hill and to the area we think is nearest to the grouse lek, but there were no grouse booming. I turned the car around on the icy snow with John watching to make sure I didn't go off the edge. We made it all the way back including the steep snowy hill at the very end. We'll do this all over again tomorrow.....in the dark.
At our late breakfast I called Jim Haskins of the Colorado Game Department. His wife answered the phone and gave me the phone number of Steve Zee who it turns out is the fellow we met on the 20-Road this morning. I called him and asked him about any other Greater Sage Grouse leks in the area and he said that the one on 80-Road was really the only one nearby. So that confirmed our decision to try it again tomorrow.
We spent the rest of the day in the area north of Steamboat Springs, the massivie ski resort on US40 east of Hayden. We saw more of the same birds we've seen over the past few days at the higher altitudes, but nothing new. We're back in Craig again for another night, but tomorrow we'll move on east after our early morning grouse encounter. The Sharp-tailed Grouse brought the year list total to 448.