Saturday, March 10, 2007

Birding Around Rocky Mountain Arsenal

March 10, 2007

Our first stop this morning was Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Denver County). We experimented with playback tapes and got one or two Long-eared Owls to answer! While doing that, a Barn Owl flew across the main road!

Next we biked Buckley Road along the east side of Rocky Mountain Arsenal from 56th avenue to 88th avenue. Birding was pretty slow; no Burrowing Owls were found.

Bird count:

2 Song Sparrows

5 White-crowned Sparrows

191 European Starlings

101 Red-winged Blackbirds

43 American Robins

2 Western Meadowlarks

A Great Horned Owl on nest

Pair American Kestrels

2 Red-tailed Hawks

The highlight was finding a Northern Saw-whet Owl in the few pines east of Buckley Road. We ran into a highway maintenance truck and asked for permission to bird the old trailer court area. It was used during the war for housing of Rocky Mountain Arsenal employees. Sue Ehlmann was the one who found the owl; it amazed us all.

We also observed a Northern Shrike perched on the telephone wires north of the old Eagle Watch Bunker. It was near where the telephone poles also run east to west. A Ferruginous Hawk stood on those poles.

Afterwards, we drove the DIA Owl Loop; again no Burrowing Owls were found.

Late in the afternoon, Bryan Ehlmann and I returned to the DIA Owl Loop. Few birds were found in the rain. No Short-eared Owls came out tonight.

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