Friday, March 30, 2007

Another Hike Along Rocky Mountain Arsenal

March 30, 2007

Temperatures only reached into the middle 40s today; winds were 10-15mph. It felt cold.

I hiked the east side of Rocky Mountain Arsenal from 88th avenue to 56th avenue. Three Burrowing Owls were observed about halfway along the trip. One was inside the arsenal (Adams County) and two were east of the road (Denver).

Two Song Sparrows were along the creek about a mile north of 56th avenue. The Great Horned Owl is still in the nest in large clump of cottonwoods. No hawks were observed. The Hawk previously on a nest was not there today. Few other birds were found.

After an early dinner, four of us drove the DIA Owl Loop. We counted only 5 Burrowing Owls (4 at 3.4 miles east of Tower & 96th ave; 1 west of Trussville & 114th ave). The Ferruginous Hawk was again seen on a telephone along the road running south from 114th avenue and east of Quancy Street.

No Short-eared Owls came out tonight (while we could still see).

March 29, 2007

Before sunrise, I led a field trip on Roger Danka’s Ranch. We located 2 Eastern Screech-Owls along the creek. A White-throated Sparrow popped up out of a bushy area along the creek. One birder thought he heard a Swamp Sparrow; it was not located by the rest of us. Two Harris's Sparrows are still visiting below the feeders back at the main ranch house. Two Long-eared Owls hid in the Russian Olive Tree windbreak.

The trip back to Denver was uneventful. A quick stop at Prewitt Reservoir found few birds that could be identified. Winds were too strong to ID birds on the water. A few shorebirds were too far away. No birds fluttered about below the dam.

Jackson Reservoir was slow also. I did find one Long-eared Owl; however I did not hike far into the woods to search for additional owls. I have seen up to 7 Long-eared Owls this season and have no desire to disturb them anymore than they have been disturbed.

Brush Ponds Wildlife Area was slow as was Brush Wildlife Area. No Greater White-fronted Geese were reported at Riverside Park this season (as far as I have heard).

I did not find the Harris's Sparrow at Barr Lake. The blowing snow did not help the search.

March 28, 2007

I drove up to Sedgwick and stopped several times along the way.

I could not find the previously reported Trumpeter Swan in Morgan County. Morgan Ponds was slow; no uncommon birds were found.

A drive along the west side of the Fox Ranch Nature Conservancy was uneventful. A Greater Prairie-Chicken did fly west across Yuma County Road U (0.3 miles north of the ranch). No Short-eared Owls were found tonight. On previous visits the fields on the west side of CR U have produced Short-eared Owls (4 of my last 9 visits)!

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