Monday, January 22, 2007

Boulder and Adams County

January 22, 2007

We enjoyed a marvelous day of birding. At first light we watched 20+ Evening Grosbeaks in the trees uphill and west & south of Fawnbrook Inn at Allenspark (Boulder County). They only passed by for about 8 minutes and never returned during our stay.

About 60 Rosy Finches came in to the trees and feeders behind the building. Only one Black Rosy Finch was among them. Other birds visiting the feeders included: Pine Siskin, Mountain Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, and Hairy Woodpecker.

We ran into a flock of about 12-15 Red Crossbills about a mile or 2 south of the road to Brainerd Lake (while we were driving along Highway 72). We drove into Ward and found 2 Pine Grosbeaks at houses along the road that goes by the old train station (I forgot to look at the name, Humboldt or Nelson?).

The main reason for the trip was to checkout Eldora Ski Area (Boulder). Last Thursday and Friday, two birders reported seeing 2-3 White-winged Crossbills in the evergreens southeast of the main building. No Crossbills showed during our stay.

Next we dropped down to the plains and went over to Debra Sparn’s house. The Varied Thrush was quite cooperative and allowed us excellent looks! Thanks much to Debra for finding the bird and inviting birders to come and watch it!

Our subsequent search was at Sheridan Blvd & 104th avenue (Adams). The question came up last week: is the partial albino Red-tailed Hawk being seen in Colorado Springs the same one that was reported for years in Westminster? As we drove east along 104th past Sheridan Blvd, we observed a Western Red-tailed Hawk and the partial albino Red-tailed Hawk together in one of the large cottonwoods (about 0.2 miles east of Sheridan Blvd).

We stopped at 88th avenue & Colorado Blvd (Adams). I hiked south along the Platte River. The male and female Barrow's Goldeneyes were approximately 1.0 miles south of 88th avenue.

South of Brighton, we drove around the subdivision of homes where most owners have airplane hangers (Harvest Road and East 160th Avenue) looking for Waxwings and whatever. However, no Waxwings were found anywhere. The Russian Olive Trees along 152nd avenue and west of Harvest Road again had 200+ American Robins; no Varied Thrush.

The Harris's Sparrow was again below the feeders behind the Visitor’s Center at Barr Lake (Adams). Yesterday’s snowstorm seemed to bring more Song Sparrows (9) and American Tree Sparrows (11) than I have seen previously. Two male Ring-necked Pheasants were also under the feeders. A dozen or so winter plumaged American Goldfinch visited the feeders in front of the building. Another 19 Ring-necked Pheasant were counted along the road out of the state park.

Approximately 90 Horned Lark walked around the horse corrals just north of the Barr Lake entrance, no Snow Buntings though. A male Northern Harrier hunted near the entrance also. A dark morph Red-tailed Hawk stood on the telephone poles around the oil tanks south of the entrance.

Our birding day ended with a drive around the DIA Owl. Three flocks of Horned Larks totaled only 15 birds. No Snow Buntings or owls could be found. A Ferruginous Hawk stood on the telephone poles near Grandbay Street and 114th avenue.

The sunset was fantastic also!

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