There are several great places to view wildlife near Walden, Colorado, which include the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge. Lake John, Cowdrey Lake and a few other state wildlife management areas are also located in this valley, so for an avid birder, picking a good spot to capture high quality images is easy to do. Basically, if there is a natural water resource on site, there will be good migration season birding and this valley certainly has no shortage of streams, lakes and wetland areas.
One of the most convenient productive spots for birding in the valley is actually located next door to Walden. The Walden Reservoir is a fairly large lake with a long shoreline that is mostly inaccessible to humans, which is what migrating species prefer. The morning hours are best because the sun will be beaming west from the the public access areas on the east side of the lake. Ducks and wading birds of every kind gather by the hundreds in this big pond during the autumn migration season, so the action can be non-stop. Bald eagles, red tail hawks and ospreys fish these waters, so there will certainly be some opportunities for capturing a once in a lifetime keeper photo.
During my first visit at Walden Reservoir, I arrived mid morning just in time to see dozens of small flocks of white pelicans flying in formation awaiting a chance to do a splash landing in the water. One flock after another circled the lake and a few of these birds flew just overhead while they were checking out what I was up to. The viewing experience soon compared to watching the runways at a busy airport, because an equal amount of pelican flocks were taking to the skies. It was amazing to see these big birds fly in tight formation, while avoiding arial collisions with other flocks that were circling in the updrafts to gain altitude. A birding venue like this can be experienced on any given morning during the autumn migration season, so be sure to chalk Walden Reservoir high on the list when touring northern Colorado!
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