Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Unsuccessful Search for Common Poorwills On the Colorado Plains

June 21, 2017

Rebecca Kosten:

Richard and I got out early this morning before the day was too hot.  Richard wanted to check on two places where Common Poorwills had nested in Arapahoe & Elbert County in the past.  Alas, we found no Common Poorwills.

Burrowing Owls are multiplying at Third Creek & West Cargo Road, Trussville & 114th Avenue and Gun Club Road south of 112th Avenue. 

A Dickcissel was heard along Strasburg Road about a half mile south of I70.  One Northern Mockingbird was still at the hill cut along Arapahoe CR 42 at a mile east of CR 161.

Three Hour Hike around Welch Park

June 20, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached a record high 99 degrees today.  Winds were 3-4 mph.  It was hot.

I stretched my legs with a three hour walk around Welch Park and neighborhood in search of the Red-bellied Woodpecker reported earlier in the day.

I (or anyone else that I have heard) did not find the woodpecker.  A few birds were in the Park proper including White-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-throated Warblers, Blue Jays, Bullock's Oriole and Downy Woodpecker.

According to my GPS, I walked 4.6 miles.  Route: twice around Welch Park, every road in 0.5 mile radius of Park and down Highline canal to Florida Avenue and back.  Speed was slow due to my broken toe.

The highlight of my hike was along the South Quebec Way trail (Highline Canal). A frequent walker pointed out an Eastern Screech-Owl!  Thanks Ruth!  It pays to talk to residents in any area one birds!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

White Ibis at Clear Creek Valley Park

June 19, 2017

Richard Stevens:

While out doing chores, I received the text message about the White Ibis at Clear Creek Valley Park (formerly called Lowell Ponds Wildlife Area--Northern Section (Adams County).

The bird was at the extreme eastern pond when I arrived.  Eventually it flew to the swallow pond just south of the parking area.

Temperatures reached the low 90s today.  Winds were 7-8 mph.  It was hot.  I went back to my long list of chores.

Cool Drive in Eastern Arapahoe County

June 18, 2017

Richard Stevens:

After the US Golf Tournament ended, Rebecca and I went for a drive in Eastern Arapahoe County.  Temperatures dropped in the evening; a cool breeze blew across the plains.

A Dickcissel was relocated along Strasberg Road approximately a half mile south of I70.  Both a singing Northern Mockingbird and Cassin's Kingbird were at the hill cut along CR 42 at a mile east of CR 161.  A Burrowing Owl continues along CR 30, east of CR 149.  A Common Nighthawk was on a telephone wire near CR 30/CR 129.

Trip to Guanella Pass

June 17, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rob Berg and I drove up to Guanella Pass from the Grant side (hwy 285).  Besides some nice bird, we missed the heat down in Denver.  The high up there was 68 degrees.  Winds were 12-13 mph with gusts to 22 mph.

Eventually we found a pair of White-tailed Ptarmigan by listening for their soft calls.  The birds were 20 yards or so southeast (uphill) of the Rosalie and 603 trails.

Many White-crowned Sparrows fluttered about the short willows.  We were quite sure that at least two "Timberline" Brewer's Sparrows were found (photographed and recorded audio).

Other birds found included a Slate-colored Fox Sparrow, American Pipits, Wilson's Warbler (kind of high for it?), Prairie Falcon (zoomed by), and Red-tailed Hawk.

At the Guanella Pass Campgrounds, we added a MacGillivray's Warbler, two Pine Grosbeaks and an American Three-toed Woodpecker to our day list.

Unfortunately, we had to return to the heat in Denver.

Trip to Reynolds Park

June 16, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rob Berg and I drove up to Reynolds Park (Jefferson) this morning.  Temperatures reached 82 degrees even in the foothills today.  Winds were a mild 4 mph.

We arrived at Reynolds Park about 60 minutes before sunrise.  A Common Poorwill called from southwest of the main parking area, across South Foxton Road.

A Northern Pygmy-Owl responded to a recording as we walked the Songbird trail.  In the next four hours, we hiked the loop of Elkhorn to Raven's Roost to Eagle's View to Oxen Draw trails. 

We managed to find all of our target birds.  Although it we did not find or expect a Northern Saw-whet Owl during our extensive search.

Highlights included a Dusky Grouse crossing Raven's Roost not far uphill/south of the Elkhorn Trail.  A male Williamson's Sapsucker drummed on a pine tree about 300 yards south of the old service road.

Another Dusky Grouse was found at the top of the Eagle's View trail.  On the trip north/downhill, we encountered a third Dusky Grouse just before the Eagle's View/Oxen Draw intersection.

A male American Three-toed Woodpecker was heard drumming just south of the Eagle's View, Raven's Roost and Oxen Draw intersection.  It took a good 15 minutes to see the elusive bird.

On the trip over to Pine Valley Ranch Park (Jefferson), we stopped several times along the S. Platte River before finding an American Dipper.  Funny little birds jumping into the rapids in search of food.

At Pine Valley Ranch Park, we walked the Narrow Gauge trail.  Nothing uncommon was found.  A Common Yellowthroat was in the willows along Pine Lake.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Return to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal

June 15, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Spent most of the day doing chores but found time to drive over to Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County) in the afternoon.  Temperatures were around 89 degrees at 4:00 pm.  Winds were 6-7 mph.

I parked just west of Second Creek & 64th Avenue for two hours.  At 5:30 pm, the adult Red-headed Woodpecker came to the large cottonwood that is between Second Creek and the grove of dead trees to the west.

Later I walked around the canopy of trees north of 64th Avenue and Chambers Road.  The Yellow-billed Cuckoo that Rebecca and I found on Wednesday could not be relocated.  The Red-headed Woodpecker found Wednesday just north of the grove was also absent.

I did not drive into the wildlife area that is a one way drive, instead went over to the First Creek Trail (outside the eastern side of the Arsenal).

The adult and five young Barn Owls are still there.  I did not detect their advancing age (from my visit of four days ago).

A Great Horned Owl called from the cottonwoods between the First Creek Trail and the parking area at 56th Avenue & Buckley Road.