Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Eastern Plains

January 31, 2007

We birded Flagler Reservoir at first light. No Short-eared Owls were found. The place was pretty quiet. One Red-bellied Woodpecker was in the trees south of the dam.

Back in Denver, we rushed over to the South Platte River at 88th avenue. A hike from 88th avenue to I270 and back was quite successful. We found 2 male Barrow's Goldeneyes and a female Barrow's Goldeneye about 1.0 miles south of 88th avenue. A pair of Greater Scaups was here also. Continuing South, we found another pair of Greater Scaup on the Platte (halfway between the railroad tracks, around 78th avenue and 74th avenue).

The Long-tailed Duck was missed on our trek south. However, on the trip back, the male duck was about 100 yards south of the 74th avenue (Hwy 224) overpass.

Along the hike there were several parts of the river that could not be seen. Also if the ducks are against the western shore, they will be missed. It is worth several looks if the birds are missed a first time.

We also counted: Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail Duck, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Barrow's Goldeneye, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, one male Ruddy Duck!, and American Coot.

Raptors included an adult Bald Eagle, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, and a Prairie Falcon!

The only gulls identified were Herring and Ring-billed Gulls.

January 30, 2007

Bryan Ehlmann, Sue Ehlmann, Rebecca Kosten, and I birded Riverside Park and Fort Morgan Ponds (Morgan County). Nine Eastern Bluebirds were near the east end of Fort Morgan Ponds. The only sparrows found were White-crowned Sparrows and 1 Song Sparrow.

Two Common Redpolls were found at feeders in Fort Morgan. The owner asked us not to reveal her address.

We found Long-eared Owls at two locations in Morgan County. They nested at one of the locations last summer. We won’t put the locations on the internet, but would be happy to help birders to see a Long-eared Owl if asked.

We arrived at the Sterling Water Treatment Plant just before they closed. They allowed us to get a quick look. As we arrived, an immature Golden Eagle flew over and scared the ducks away. One Long-tailed Duck was observed flying away!

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