Sunday, July 16, 2017

399 @ Vega State Park

Sister had mom for the day so I was free to ramble off somewhere! I had a list of places I wanted to explore and Vega State Park made the top of the list as it is pretty close.  Only about 68 miles away and at 8,000 ft elevation I hoped for and got cooler temps.  The drive is really pretty and one passes through varied terrain of all kinds, from canyons with rock formations to thick stands of fir and aspen.  

DeBeque Cut Off

along hwy 330 east near Collbran, CO

Vega is 1,830 acres and includes a 900 acre reservoir build in 1957.  There's 4 campgrounds in the park.  I really hope I can camp in the Aspen Grove campground at some point.   There is a visitors center, and the park is well staffed as far as I could tell. 

The lake is really picturesque...

My interest is in the natural beauty, the birds, animals and plants in the park!  The main campground is early Settlers it has water and electric so it was pretty full it has 34 sites some were still available.  Aspen Grove has 28 sites with water pumps and vault toilet.  So only one camper was there.   I hiked down along the edge of the lake and had some mosquitoes but away from the high grass they didn't bother me.  

The wildflowers were fabulous...

I need to pick up a wildflower book to help me ID all these awesome flowers...some are sunflowers but I don't the others...

There is a $7 fee for Day Pass...and it's good in all the parks for 24 hrs! I had one left over from Rifle Falls, but it expired in exactly 1/2 an hr so I had to get a new one.   I parked in one of the day use lots and headed off to hike one short trail down to the water...that's where the skeeters got me.  So back at the van I got my spray and hat and didn't have any more problems.  I was so happy to hear I immediately starting looking around for birds..All around me were Mountains Bluebirds teaching the young how to hunt...

Check out this lazy Marmot!!

It's nice to be under these Aspens, 

Always did love the eyes...

Back to the Flower fields, I saw Pine Siskin, 

Lesser goldfinch male and female

Image may contain: plant, flower, bird, outdoor and nature

this could be larkspur...

Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor

flowers attract flies, and worms...and so that means worm the yellow rumped warbler, this one is of the Audubon variety...he blends quite well with this flower patch!

I moved up into the Aspen Grove Campground area  up this road, 

and in the aspens I spotted several house wrens.  

the lake is even more beautiful on this side...

I almost missed this bird, so I didn't get a good shot but I kept it anyway, the black headed grosbeak.

...not new for me but always a pleasure, there is never a bird that I  am not happy to see no matter if I've seen it a million times.  Also ran into this cute Yellow Warbler...

up close to the campground the trees withdraw and it opens into a nice valley...

and even more wildflowers...

then BINGO, my 399th bird popped up in an Aspen tree...the Lazuli Bunting! I didn't get the beautiful wing bars in my photo...but no matter, it was an exciting sighting!!

Really a thrill!! 

and then several beautiful cedar waxwings flew around 

SOOOO happy I chose Vega it IS such a gorgeous park to visit!!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.


  1. Aren't the Bluebirds stunning! Waxwings are a favourite, they're quite exquisite I think!

    1. You're so right the bluebirds are some of my favorites! My sis calls waxwings "sunglasses birds".

  2. oh my gosh Sondra! That was an amazing park. Beautiful lazuli -- what a wonderful lifer ... you'll always remember this park that is for sure. All of the birds are wonderful and the Lake is beautiful. The birds, warbler and goldfinch look great on those pretty wildlflowers.

    Now I really want to spend more time in this part of Colorado. Sigh. So many beautiful places ....

    1. You are so right! This park is really pretty...I hope to camp there before I go home, and that would give me a chance to look even closer at the wildlife there.

  3. I agree with Pam about the Bluebirds and Waxwings. It is a beautiful park, for me this is one of the nicest areas that you have visited, I imagine it will be hard to leave.

    1. It is a lovely state, so many people come to CO for the beauty alone....the property taxes are QUITE high tho!!

  4. Oh the pictures are making me miss my beloved White Mountains of AZ. The rock formations in the first picture are kind of like the ones going through Salt River Canyon, the stand of pines with the cabin nestled in there is so beautiful. Aspens, wild flowers the lake and all those wonderful birds. What a glorious day you had. I sure do hope you get to camp up there this summer

    1. It is magnificent scenery up there...that was at 8,000 ft, where I am staying it's about 5,500 ft. So a very different zone for plants, trees, and more!! Ohhhh I want to see the White Mountains too.

  5. Wow! Congratulations on your new life bird! What a lovely state park! How fortunate it is so close by! XO

    1. Thank you Karen! And it was one of my target birds for the state! Amazing tho I did not expect to find it so soon!! Thanks for the visit.

    2. So, you peaked my curiosity, and I checked my life list. I have 337 birds. A few more than I thought!


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