Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Return to Boulder

January 23, 2007

Yesterday, we knew that we were observing something special. The Boulder Varied Thrush stayed out in the open for an hour on a tree branch about 12 feet over our head (though we stayed 30 yards away from the tree). Normally a shy bird which offers brief looks, the bird was perched in the sun and did not move.

Today we returned to Boulder for another look and a possible photograph. The Varied Thrush was seen in the morning rummaging around the garden area at the southeast corner of the house. It disappeared about 10:00am, approximately 10 minutes before we arrived.

I spent a couple of hours during two stops hiking around the area. A Sharp-shinned Hawk was perched in a tree along the canal and about 40 yards from Simmons Drive. An adult Red-tailed Hawk was perched overlooking the yard along Piedmont Avenue when we arrived. It came and went several times during the day.

While I missed the thrush, I was able to watch over a dozen American Robins feeding on various grassy spots devoid of snow around the neighborhood. Two Cassin's Finches visited a feeder along Simmons Drive (near the canal mentioned above). Two Mountain Chickadees and half a dozen Black-capped Chickadees were also observed.

It was a pleasurable time hiking in the 35 degree temperatures after the last few weeks of below freezing weather.

Back in Aurora, we stopped at the Mt Nebo Cemetery off Peoria and 13th avenue. We searched about 1.5 hours for the sapsucker that Jerry Petrosky reported last week. No geese were across the street at Nome Park.

A few small flocks of Canada Geese were found as we drove by several parks. No Brant or Greater White-fronted Geese were found. We stopped by: Expo Park, Delmar Park, BiCentennial Park, Library Park, Mira Vista Golf Course, Aurora Hills Golf Course, and Utah Park.

A check of Gateway Park (west end of LakeCrest) did not find any uncommon gulls or geese. The open water area is quite small. Perhaps it will open in the next few days with the warm winds and temperatures.

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