Trying is the first step toward failure
— Homer Simpson
Andy after our 6-mile snowshoe at 13,000 feet in 0 degree temps to find Boreal Owl. None were heard. 

Andy after our 6-mile snowshoe at 13,000 feet in 0 degree temps to find Boreal Owl. None were heard. 

Two days ago, I picked up Andy in Ft. Collins, Colorado for a quick birding trip on my way up to Wyoming. Our target bird was Boreal Owl, a high-mountain specialty that Andy has had incredible luck in finding in the past. We used this trip as a scouting trip for an upcoming Boreal Owl trip, which is filled up full! (The scouting report wasn't positive, but I'm sure the conditions conspired against us)

We began the trek from the top of Cameron Pass, just before sunset. The light was fantastic. iPhone photos don't do it justice- but I'll put them up anyways- just because. The full story of this particular adventure will be shared at a future date. The light was the warmest part of this night.

It was all smiles early on in the hike... before our water bottles froze shut!

It was all smiles early on in the hike... before our water bottles froze shut!

Following a snowshoe trail at a lower elevation. 

Following a snowshoe trail at a lower elevation. 

I've never seen a sunset reflected in the snow similar to the ocean, until this night on the pass.

I've never seen a sunset reflected in the snow similar to the ocean, until this night on the pass.

Our epic effort wasn't rewarded with the target bird, but I did manage to see Pine Grosbeak, so bird-wise I wasn't left completely skunked. The next morning after sleeping in -20 temps in the car, I awoke to an empty snow-drifted Sage Grouse lek with zero birds. They were probably buried somewhere under the snow. Our next try for Rosy finches yielded a single Gray-crowned at Moose visitor center with many blackbirds. Searching for American Dipper along high mountain rivers was fruitless. The Northern Shrike that had set up a winter territory at Douglas Reservoir was apparently out to lunch when I stopped by. I don't believe in karma, and personally don't give much thought to good or bad luck, but after the last few days of slow birding in Colorado, it was time to move north with the birds for the first day of Spring. Wyoming, here I come!