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V.A. Poma Ranch to host Audubon breakfast and birding event

The Weminuche Audubon Society and V.A. Poma Ranch will host a breakfast and leisurely birding tour a few miles southwest of Williams Creek Reservoir Saturday morning, July 25.

The free, half-day event will begin at precisely 8 a.m., and the public is welcome. Please, leave pets at home.

Following a home-cooked meal of sausage and eggs, hotcakes, orange juice and coffee, society members and friends of all ages will casually stroll spruce, fir and aspen forests, open meadows and riparian zones, while quietly observing and identifying varietal bird species.

At present, abundant wildflowers adorn the ranch in an amazing array of color. Of course, wildlife encounters are always possible in ranch country, where unspoiled views are spectacular and nature’s soothing melodies include singing birds, a babbling Weminuche Creek and gentle mountain breezes wafting through the trees.

With limited ranch parking, carpooling is strongly advised. By 7:15 a.m., attendees should meet on the left, just past the cattle guard where the paved Piedra Road turns to gravel. Those compelled to drive will be directed to parking areas among the ranch house, barn and outbuildings.

Field trip participants should bring ample water, sunscreen and a hat, but should also include appropriate footwear (for wet conditions) and a rain jacket. When lightening is present, the society discourages the use of umbrellas.

Because the outing may run past the noon hour, attendees should bring snacks or a sack lunch, and consider throwing in a little insect repellant. Binoculars and bird books will be most useful, though the society has them available for loan, should anyone need them. Don’t forget your wildflower guide.

While this will be the society’s first birding event at the historic V.A. Poma Ranch, many more are planned, as ranch management improves and expands its birding trails. Throughout, the Weminuche chapter will work to establish a comprehensive list of avian species indigenous to, or passing through, the picturesque Weminuche Valley.

To R.S.V.P. by tomorrow afternoon, or for more information on this scenic birding and wildlife viewing opportunity, contact Dottie George at 731-5759, or e-mail her at hgeorge000@centurytel.net.

For additional information on the V.A. Poma Ranch, including RV and tent camping, cabin rentals, photography and private fishing, visit www.poma-ranch.com, or call 731-5746. The ranch is located approximately 24 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs.

chuck@pagosasun.com