Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Eastern Adams & Arapahoe Counties

July 16, 2019

Richard Stevens:

High temperatures reached a hot 96 degrees today.  Winds on the plains were 13-14 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

Early in the morning, I returned to eastern Adams County in search of Mountain Plovers.  Regrettably, none was found.

The Burrowing Owls continue along 160th avenue at the prairie dog town 0.5 miles west of Yellow Jacket Road.

Nothing else was interesting and I drove into eastern Arapahoe County.  At least two Cassin's Kingbirds continue at Richmil Ranch Open Space.  Another Cassin's Kingbird was viewed from the East Bijou Creek Bridge at CR 38.

A check of three traditional Dickcissel sites did not find a one.  Two Burrowing Owls continue on the west side of CR 129 at 0.7 miles south of Orchard Road (one of the past Dickcissel sites).

Temperatures were rising; few birds moved about.  I headed for home.

No Birding July 14 & 15, 2019

July 14 & 15, 2019

Did not bird.  I keep this blog to inform other birders of sightings.  Also it is a searchable record for me to remember where my bird observations were found.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Hot Day at Barr Lake

July 13, 2019

Richard Stevens:

High temperature today was 97 degrees.  Winds were 13-14 mph with gusts to 28 mph when the thunderstorm came.

In the morning, I spent 3 to 4 hours searching for herons at the northwest corner of Barr Lake (Adams County).  The search was between mile 2.0 and 4.0.  Three Great Blue Herons were the only found.  Access is east of Buckley Road north of 120th avenue.

Afterwards I took 120th avenue west to Lowell Blvd and Metzger Farm Open Space (Adams).  I stood for an hour 50 yards from the Oriole nest without seeing the male Baltimore Oriole or any female activity.

When I photographed the male Baltimore Oriole (Colorado Birding Society's Photo Library on June 22, at least three male Bullock's Orioles and two female Bullock's Orioles were in the area.  None was encountered today.

In the afternoon, I picked up Rebecca and we went back to the northwest corner of Barr Lake.  This time I brought our high top rubber field boots.  The boots were necessary to walk the last 50 yards to the bird blind at mile 2.2 (parking area is mile 2.7).

No additional herons were found.  A Sora and one or two Virginia Rails called in the cattails west of the blind.  Boots were not necessary to reach mile 2.0 (if you do not mind having wet hiking boots).  No uncommon birds were observed.

No Burrowing Owls or any owls were found along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver).  Some organization bulldozed the prairie dog town at Trussville and 114th avenue.  We are still trying to find out whom.

Afternoon Walk at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

July 12, 2019

Richard Stevens:

I brought Jamie Thompson back to Denver, picked up Rebecca and headed to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  Temperatures reached 93 degrees today.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 22 mph.

The breeze was quite cool when the sun went behind clouds at 5:00 pm.  We walked the New Mexico Locust tree grove at the southwest corner of Lake Ladora.  An American Robin was the only bird found.  

It occurred that this was not the correct parking area where the Ash-throated Flycatcher had been reported yesterday.  We parked at the new parking area at the southeastern corner of Lake Ladora and walked to the Locust grove about 1/2 mile to the south.

At least eighty White-tailed Deer stood around the pond just south of the parking area.  Another 30-40 were west of the trail.  They ignored us and we continued south.

Shorebirds around the pond included one Willet, two Western Sandpipers, two Baird's Sandpipers, and four American Avocets.  Four Say's Phoebes and two Western Kingbirds were the only birds encountered.

When we reached the main road back at the parking area, an Ash-throated Flycatcher flew out of the tall cottonwoods at the southwest corner of Lake Ladora, grabbed a bug and perched on the brown road marker.

By the time I got my camera out, the Ash-throated Flycatcher had retreated to the cottonwood.  Only a rather poor witness photo was obtained.

We decided to drive the 9 mile Wildlife Loop in the cool evening air.  No Burrowing Owls and few birds were encountered.  We enjoyed the cool drive after the warm day.  No Red-headed Woodpeckers, Sage Thrashers or other uncommon birds were run across.

Montrose & Delta Counties

July 10-11, 2019

Richard Stevens:

July 10

Terry and I met up with Jacob Washburn and Jamie Thompson today.  We have a cabin in Montrose County and enjoyed a leisure day with a barbecue, comparing notes, and making future birding itineraries.

In the afternoon, we drove over to the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (Montrose County).  Two Dusky Grouse were found along the South Rim Drive on the way to the western High Point.  Two Wild Turkeys ran across the western parking area.

We hiked to the High Point, regrettably, no Northern Pygmy-Owl were found or heard.  At dusk, two Common Poorwills were heard from the western parking area.  One was on the road about 1/4 mile to the east!

July 11

We headed north into Delta County today.  No shorebirds or Lewis's Woodpeckers could be found around Fruitgrower's Reservoir and Eckert.

Then we drove down Escalante Canyon & Wildlife Area west of Delta.  A lone Chukar walked along the field west of the Gunnison River.

Two Black Phoebes, one 1/4 mile west of the Chukar and another east of Pinnacle Rock were encountered.

Other birds observed included two Ash-throated Flycatchers, a Plumbeous Vireo, a male Blue Grosbeak, and two Pinyon Jays.  More surprising were a Gray Vireo and Least Flycatcher.

After dark, we did some owling west of Captain Smith's Site.  Our owl count was three Northern Saw-whet Owls, one Northern Pygmy-Owl and a surprise Western Screech-Owl.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Gunnison Cty: Sapinero Mesa & Cimarron Pass

Amy Davenport: transcript of telephone call:

July 8, 2019

Terry and I (Richard) drove south of highway 50 down highway 149 and Sapinero Mesa.  Highlight was a Gunnison Sage-Grouse on the side of Gunnison CR 26 near the Cutoff, west of Indian Creek.

The BLM land at Sapinero Mesa added three American Three-toed Woodpeckers and a pair of Williamson's Sapsuckers.  A Grace's Warbler was observed near the Cutoff.

We walked around Gateview at CR 25 and were rewarded with Black-throated Gray Warblers and another American Three-toed Woodpecker.

A flock of Pinyon Jays flew around Alpine Plateau.  Owling was nice tonight.
Alpine Plateau: two Flammulated Owls, one Northern Pygmy-Owl
Elk Creek: Northern Pygmy-Owl
Indian Creek ("owl listening stations"): Flammulated Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl

July 9, 2019

Birded Cimarron Pass in Gunnison County today. Highlights:

Cimarron Campgrounds: Northern Saw-whet Owl, Dusky Grouse and American Three-toed Woodpecker

Silver Jack Campgrounds: Hooded Warbler (sixth time in seven years), Dusky Grouse (adult, two young), pair Williamson's Sapsuckers, American Three-toed Woodpecker, two Flammulated Owls (heard only)

Beaver Lake: Northern Saw-whet Owl ("owl listening stations")
Big Cimarron Campgrounds area: Flammulated Owl

Fish Creek Reservoir: Flammulated Owl (seen), Northern Pygmy-Owl (heard)

Forest Road 858: Flammulated Owl

Owl Creek Pass was closed at top and road had several snowdrifts.  We did not make it to the summit.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Western Slope continued (Gunnison Cty)

Rebecca Kosten: transcript of telephone call:

July 6, 2019

Terry and I birded up Highway 135 to Almont and then took Gunnison CR 742 to Taylor Park Reservoir.  Once again, our trek was changed due to the snowy spring.  It was not possible to get to the Cottonwood Pass Summit due to snowdrifts.

Nothing uncommon was on Taylor Park Reservoir.  Lake View Campgrounds across CR 742 added two American Three-toed Woodpeckers and a pair of Band-tailed Pigeons to our trip list.

Returning to Gunnison, we stopped at many Campgrounds (Rivers End, Spring Creek, Lodgepole and Cold Springs).

Owling was quite successful this night.
Flammulated Owls (3 at separate locations)
Northern Pygmy-Owls (2 at separate locations)
Northern Saw-whet Owl (1)

July 7, 2019

We tried to get to Schofield Pass this morning.  Much snow is still on the pass and it is impassable.  Just as well, Schofield Pass is considered the most dangerous pass in Colorado.  We did not have to decide whether to drive it this trip.

We did not get close enough to search for White-tailed Ptarmigan.  Several miles of snowshoeing would have been required to reach near the Summit.

We were not able to relocate the previously reported Black Phoebe at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab.  It was too early to search for the Boreal Owl.

Instead, we drove back to Kebler Pass where birding was more successful.  Two American Three-toed Woodpeckers and a male Williamson's Sapsucker were located at the Old Cemetery area.

Two Purple Martins were flying around their traditional nesting location.  Two Dusky Grouse were encountered before we reached Highway 133.

Owling on the way back to Crested Butte was slow.  We did locate two Flammulated Owls at previous years GPS waypoints.  A Northern Pygmy-Owl called along Ohio Pass (just south of the closed gate).