Monday, May 28, 2007

Foothills and Eastern Plains May 28, 2007

Iain Wilkes and I went seeking several of his lifebirds.

Our first stop was Gregory Canyon in Boulder. The trails leading from the parking area (fee area) follow a stream west up the canyon and/or a dry stream bed to the south. MacGillivray's Warblers nest in the heavy foliage along the wet stream bed. Virginia's Warblers seem to prefer to nest further up the hillsides where it is a little drier.

We searched for an hour along the stream for MacGillivray's Warblers. None were found today. Perhaps because it was a holiday and many hikers and dog walkers were using the trail before we arrived.

Our luck changed as we hiked up the dry stream bed. A Virginia's Warbler was actively calling from the lower bushes. He seldom stopped calling during our 30 minute stay. Broad-tailed Hummingbirds (another lifebird) appeared to be everywhere.

Other birds observed included a singing Black-headed Grosbeak. Several Yellow-breasted Chats were also tirelessly singing. A male Western Tanager wouldn’t let the other birds have the only say. Common Ravens harassed a juvenile Golden Eagle that flew through the canyon.

Gray Catbirds, American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and a dozen Warbling Vireos added to the noisy canyon.

From here we determined that the Pawnee National Grasslands would provide the most opportunities for additional lifebirds in the limited time allowed to us.

A stop at Highway 14 & CR 51 did not find any Mountain Plovers. We were more successful at the eastern end of the same pasture. Two Mountain Plovers were observed in the shorter grasses while we parked at the Dyer’s Driveway (0.7 miles east of the above intersection).

The birds were quite far away and Iain wanted a better look at a Mountain Plover so we headed to the field north of Weld County Roads 94 & 63. I usually find this pasture is lucrative for producing a Mountain Plover sighting. We did not find any plovers but did see many Lark Buntings and McCown's Longspurs (both lifebirds for Iain).

Crow Valley Campground was quiet today. A pair of Bullock's Orioles added much color and another lifebird. We were not able to locate the previously reported Black-throated Blue Warblers.

Time was running short and we headed back to Denver by way of Highway 392. We stopped at Weld County Road 67 and walked about 0.3 miles south. Iain found a Mountain Plover about 0.1 miles south of CR 67. This bird was only 20 yards from us and allowed great views.

A Burrowing Owl was approximately 60 yards further south. While watching these birds, we heard one or two Cassin's Sparrows and watched a couple of Brewer's Sparrows. Thanks to Gary Lefko for bringing this area to our attention!

A brief stop at the wetlands south of Lower Latham Reservoir added a male Cinnamon Teal and 2 male Blue-winged Teal to Iain’s life list. A pair of Great-tailed Grackles was perched on the northern fence line.

Beebe Draw Ponds added Wilson's Phalaropes, Green-winged Teal, and American Wigeons to our trip list. A couple of peeps were too far away to ID.

We were not able to find any Prairie Falcons along our trek and offered Iain a reason to return to Colorado on another day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Boulder County May 27, 2007

Rebecca Kosten and I enjoyed birding in Boulder County on Sunday.

Our first stop was Boulder Creek below Folsom Field. Fortunately the Worm-eating Warbler was singing when we arrived. Finding it in the dense foliage would have been quite difficult. Still we did not get great looks.

Afterwards, we split up and Rebecca found a Chestnut-sided Warbler along the upper dirt path below Folsom Field and the Recreation Center. She radioed me and we relocated the warbler west of the stairs and walkway. It was about 20 yards before an intersection where we could walk down to the lower dirt trail.

I went back for another look at the Worm-eating Warbler (not very good in thick bushes). I heard and later observed a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The grosbeak was along the upper dirt path east of the stairs leading up to the stadium.

We also found half a dozen Yellow Warblers and a most likely Cordillera Flycatcher.

Our next stop was the Boulder Bobolink Meadow north side and along Baseline Road (just west of Baseline Reservoir and the Bobolink Trail). We observed at least 2 male Bobolinks and a female flying around at the north end of the field.

We stopped at the Teller Farms Trailhead off Valmont. A hike about a mile along the trail did not find any Bobolinks or Dickcissels. We did see two male Blue Grosbeaks singing away in the trees just before the trail heads west (about 0.5 miles from the trailhead).

Cliff Swallows and Barn Swallows were flying low over the fields and catching insects. We continued until the trail turned north. Here we were able to get a better look at the alfalfa fields which are quite far from the trail this year. Still no Bobolinks or Dickcissels.

It took about an hour to find the Eastern Meadowlark and several Bobolinks south of Cattail Pond in Loveland (Larimer). Thanks to Cole Wild for the heads up on those birds!

Our final stop was Fossil Creek Reservoir (Larimer). Not much uncommon was found; plenty of mosquitoes to go around though

Return to Cherry Creek Reservoir May 26, 2007

Billy Marsen and I birded several foothills locations today.

Our first stop was Genesee Mountain Park (Jefferson County). Here we relocated 2 male and 2 female Williamson's Sapsuckers. One pair hangs around the group picnic area. The other pair was relocated at the top of the road (near the flag pole).

We also found all 3 species of nuthatches, Pine Siskins, Hairy Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, and a pair of Western Bluebirds.

An hour long search for White-tailed Ptarmigan on Loveland Pass (Clear Creek) was not successful. We did find a couple of Mountain Bluebirds and American Pipits. No Rosy Finches were around today.

From here we drove back through Evergreen and stopped at Lair o’ the Bear Park (Jefferson). Two American Dippers were located along Bear Creek and directly south of the parking area. We also found a Swamp Sparrow about 60 yards upstream (west) of the footbridge over the creek.

We hiked the park loop in hopes of finding some owls; without success.

Our next stop was Castlewood Canyon State Park (Douglas). It took only a couple of minutes to find 2 male Bobolinks in the field 0.2 miles south of the Winkler Ranch along Castlewood Canyon Road.

Many Mountain Bluebirds, 4 Western Bluebirds, and an Eastern Bluebird were observed as we drove north on Castlewood Canyon Road and through the State Park.

At the old farmhouse (in the park) we stopped and hiked back to the first picnic area. Three Spotted Towhees and 2 male Black-headed Grosbeaks were found along the trek. Unfortunately, no warblers were encountered.

After dropping Bill off, Rebecca Kosten and I drove through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). A male Black-chinned Hummingbird was again found east of the Ranger’s Office. A brief stop at the woods where Cherry Creek runs under the main road did not relocated the Rose-breasted Grosbeak reported earlier in the week. Several Black-crowned Night-Herons and a Great Blue Heron stood on the poles outlining the southwest marina.

Owling in Boulder May 25, 2007

At 2:00am, Bryan Ehlmann and I headed to Boulder County. We hiked around the Walker Burn Area to search for owls reported on 5/23 by Ted Floyd. Luck was with us; we heard a Flammulated Owl in the distance and later heard 2 Northern Pygmy-Owls. Unfortunately, we were never able to see the owls.

We searched for American Three-toed Woodpeckers after sunrise; without success.

In the late afternoon (after a few hours of sleep) I drove through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) while doing chores. Again few birds were around. A quick drive by the Ranger’s Office did find the male Black-chinned Hummingbird.

Seven Burrowing Owls were relocated along the DIA Owl Loop at 3.4 miles east of Tower Road and 96th avenue. Another three were at Powhaton Road and 128th avenue. One Burrowing Owl was at the new location along Tower Road (at 0.2 miles north of 56th avenue).

Cherry Creek Reservoir May 24, 2007

I did not get back to Denver until just before sunrise. After a few hours of sleep, we headed over to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) where Kroodsma had reported a Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the early morning. I played a tape and the Rose-breasted Grosbeak answered in about 20 seconds. He later came out of the woods at the northeast corner (east of where Cherry Creek runs under the main road; at the western end of the 12 mile group picnic area).

Jerry Petrosky joined me and we also found a male MacGillivray's Warbler, 9 Yellow Warblers, an Orange-crowned Warbler, and Cinnamon Teal in the woods. Several Broad-tailed Hummingbirds were also flying around the willows on the north side of the main road.

Later we walked down to the 12 mile beaver pond. Here I was able to get a Wilson's Snipe, Sora, and 2 Virginia Rails to answer to playback tapes.

The male Black-chinned Hummingbird was again found east of the Ranger’s Office.

Eastern Plains May 22 to 23, 2007

May 22, 2007

Roger Danka had reported a couple of interesting birds and I headed back to the Julesburg area (Logan County). We were not able to relocate the Blue-headed Vireo that Roger had found earlier in the day at the Jumbo Reservoir campgrounds. We also did not relocate the American Woodcock that he saw that morning at the eastern end of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area.

With plenty of daylight left, we decided to head to Bonny Reservoir (Yuma). A quick stop at Sand Draw Wildlife area added 2 Field Sparrows and a Harris's Sparrow to our trip list.

Once at Bonny Reservoir we had just enough daylight left to relocate 2 of the Northern Cardinals reported by Bob Righter the week before. Three Baltimore Orioles were found along the south shore. We search unsuccessfully for Barn Owls and called in a day.

May 23, 2007

Before sunrise, Roger Danka and I were up searching for owls at Bonny Reservoir (Yuma County). An Eastern Screech-Owl answered our playback tapes as we played them north of the most eastern Hale Ponds. Earlier, a Long-eared Owl had also responded to our tape at the Hale Store windbreak. Two Common Poorwills were also relocated south of Hale Ponds (first found on one of my grouse trips on 5/8).

A hike around the Hale Pond area added a male Chestnut-sided Warbler, pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and a covey of Northern Bobwhite to our trip list. We found a Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the cottonwoods just before CR 4 enters Kansas.

A hike along the Republican River from LL.5 to Hale Ponds was quite successful. While we did not find any additional Yellow-billed Cuckoos or Black-billed Cuckoos (known to nest in the area in past years), we did find a male Magnolia Warbler.

At Bonny Reservoir we once again found a couple of Baltimore Orioles and Northern Cardinals. Shorebird sightings were hard to come by. A pair of Ospreys hunted along the south shore. Several House Wrens and a Great Crested Flycatcher were encountered at Wagon Wheel Campgrounds. One Red-headed Woodpecker was also found.

I needed to get back to Denver, so we headed back to Julesburg and I headed home.

I arrived at Prewitt Reservoir (Washington/Logan) near sunset. A quick walk below the dam did not turn up any uncommon birds. No Eastern Screech-Owls could be found below the dam outlet or the southern parking area.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cherry Creek Reservoir May 21, 2007

While doing chores we passed through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County) twice today. Not much was around on our first visit; it was sunny and winds were calm. We did find the male Black-chinned Hummingbird just east of the ranger’s office.

On the second trip, a cold front passed over and it rained for about 20 minutes. During this visit we saw a Caspian Tern and 2 Franklin's Gulls on the boundary poles around the southwest marina.

Returning to the Ranger’s office, we found 2 male Black-chinned Hummingbirds. One just east of the office and a second about 40 yards to the east-southeast.

We also made a run over to Denver City Park. The island at Duck Lake had over 200 Double-crested Cormorants, 14 Black-crowned Night-Herons, and 3 Snowy Egrets. All looked to be attempting to nest.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Birding Along Foothills May 20, 2007

Bryan & Sue Ehlmann, Rebecca Kosten, and I chased a rare Black-tailed Gnatcatcher report at Red Rocks Park this morning. After seeing a photo later in the day, the bird turned out to be a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. However, we did enjoy a beautiful day of birding.

We hiked the Red Rocks Trail twice, but only found 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. We did find around the park, White-throated Swifts overhead, a Virginia's Warbler, a Lazuli Bunting, and many Western Scrub-Jays.

In the late afternoon, we also drove over to the Apex Trail and hiked about 2 miles up it. Here we found Spotted Towhees, half a dozen Lazuli Buntings, and a singing male Indigo Bunting.

The trail is used by many hikers and bikers on the weekends. Searches for Buntings and Dusky Grouse are better served by visiting during the week.

We ended our birding day by visiting Genesee Mountain Park. Again we found 2+ male and 2 female Williamson's Sapsuckers. A few weeks ago, we discovered a nesting hole. We listened closely, but did not hear any young yet.

A search for Northern Pygmy-Owls (or any owls) after sunset did not turn up any tonight

DFO Trip to Rocky Mountain Arsenal May 19, 2007

After spending 7 weeks (15, 631 miles driving) searching for birds for other birders, I decided to go on the DFO Trip to Rocky Mountain Arsenal and let other birders find some birds. I thought it was still the peak migrating season and some interesting birds could be found.

It turned out not to be the case. Birding was quite slow. There were few waterfowl. The “hat trick” of teal was just about it for ducks. The lakes were full of water, therefore no shoreline and no shorebirds (except Killdeer). We ended up with only 43 species.

The highlights included a lone Plumbeous Vireo, a Gray Catbird and a male Black-headed Grosbeak. Of course there were plenty Bullock's Orioles.

Before the tour started, I hiked around Lake Mary (just south of the Visitor’s Center). Here I did find a Green Heron and 5+ Common Yellowthroats.

A Great-tailed Grackle was among many Common Grackles at a southern pond. This pond can be observed from outside of the Arsenal by looking through the fence at 0.2 miles west of Chambers Road and 56th avenue.

After the tour, I decided to hike Bluff Lake Nature Area. Here I found a few additional birds and plenty of mosquitoes. Mosquito repellent is a must here now. Even with repellent, I was pressed hard to stop and search for the few birds found.

A Northern Waterthrush walked along the water’s edge north of the trail at the north end of the lake. Search below the bench facing south on the north side of the trail after entering the forested area.

Other birds seen were several Western Wood-pewees, Bullock's Orioles, 1 Black-headed Grosbeak, 2 Western Tanagers and one “heard only” Virginia Rail.

My last stop of the day was Barr Lake (Adams). We hiked from the Visitor’s Center to the boat ramp. Again birds observed were few. A few Yellow Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a Hermit Thrush were the highlights of our hike.

Burrowing Owls were found both at the 3.4 miles east of Tower Road & 96th avenue and the Powhaton & 128th avenue sites.

Northeastern Colorado Birding

May 18, 2007

Today Rebecca Kosten and I traveled from Julesburg to Denver by way of Phillips County, Elbert County, and Douglas County.

We spent about 1.5 hours looking for Dickcissels along Elbert County Road (4.1 miles south of Hwy 86). None were singing, however we did see two Dickcissels. One was directing east (south of ECR) across from the power station building.

Then we stopped at the Winkler Ranch along Castlewood Canyon Road and 1.5 miles south of Castlewood Canyon State Park. We counted 7 Bobolinks in about 15 minutes. A Dickcissel called during our stay. We were parked 0.2 miles south of the Winkler Ranch Entrance.

After dark we heard a Northern Saw-whet Owl (at the old falls parking area).

GPS: N 39 20.851 W 104 45.760 Elev: 6425’

Grouse Birding Trip May 4 to May 9

May 04

The real tour started today. Our first stop was Genesee Mountain Park. We happily found 2 male and 2 female Williamson's Sapsuckers. One pair was near the group picnic area. The other pair fluttered about at the top of the road (near the flag pole).

Our next stop was the summit of Loveland Pass. Here we were greeted with blowing snow and 70 plus mph winds. Our search for White-tailed Ptarmigan was not successful. It was quite difficult to use scopes to look at the hillside east of the Hwy 9.

Some of the 15 birders were able to see a small flock of Brown-capped Rosy Finches.

Feeders in Silverthorne were visited by few birds. While we experienced blizzard conditions on Loveland Pass, down in Silverthorne, it was sunny and calm. The highlight birds were Evening Grosbeaks.

At Windy Gap Reservoir (Grand County) we found many waterfowl. A pair of Barrow’s Goldeneyes was picked out of many Common Goldeneyes, Mallards, Gadwalls, Ring-necked Ducks, and American Coots. A few American White Pelicans were also observed. Dozens of California Gulls and a few Ring-billed Gulls flew around the reservoir.

We stopped at the Arapahoe National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center. No birds, but we did see a female Moose.

A drive along the first 2 miles of the self guided auto tour added a Swainson's Hawk, Willets, American Avocets, Vesper Sparrows, and a Sage Thrasher to our trip list.

It was snowing again when we reached Jackson County. We had a few hours to kill and decided to checkout the Colorado State Forest Visitor’s Center feeders. Many birds were visiting them. We found a dozen Brown-capped Rosy Finches and 2 Black Rosy Finches.

Our birds included Cassin's Finches, Pine Siskins, Steller's Jays, a Gray Jay, Common Grackles, and Brewer's Blackbirds.

Our birding day ended by watching 5 or 6 Greater Sage-Grouse in the middle of a blizzard. One of the males briefly (only about 15 seconds) displayed, but gave up in the snowstorm.

May 5

At first light we waited at the 20 road lek for Sharp-tailed Grouse to show up. They arrived late; we were able to get good looks at 9 birds. While we waited, 2 Greater Sage-Grouse boomed on the east side of 20 road.

Several Chipping Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, and Vesper Sparrows also came by during our stay.

Our next stop was Oxbow Wildlife Area. On the trip over we stopped several times. Once a Ferruginous Hawk soared along the ridge north of hwy 318. A second time, a Prairie Falcon was also seen doing the same thing.

Once at Oxbow, we quickly heard a flock of Pinyon Jays flying back and forth between the firs on the north side of highway 318. While watching them, Peter Weber found an early Black-throated Gray Warbler calling along the roadside.

We hiked into the Wildlife Area about 0.5 miles. Several Sage Thrashers popped up and gave us great views. The prize however was when a couple of Sage Sparrows also perched on the Sagebrush allowing us super looks!

From here we headed west to Rangely and then south toward Fruita. We detoured west to M.80 Road (a known location for Scott's Orioles). We found a couple of Green-tailed Towhees and Gray Flycatchers during our search for an oriole. Eventually, a Scott's Oriole was also found.

Our last stop during daylight was Cameo. Unfortunately, none were found this evening.

After dark a few of us decided to look for owls on the Grand Mesa. No Northern Pygmy-Owls were found this night at Powderhorn Ski Area (seen on my previous trip up there). We then headed toward Spruce Campgrounds where Northern Saw-whet Owls and Boreal Owls were found on my last trip. Fortune was not with us; before we drove halfway to the campgrounds we were turned around in another blizzard. Snow covered roads made traction tricky and all decided we should turn around.

May 6

At first light we parked at the southern entrance to the Colorado National Monument. Quickly several Black-throated Sparrows and Gambel's Quail were found singing and moving around the Sage.

At the first picnic area inside the entrance we found several Ash-throated Flycatchers, Rock Wrens, and Canyon Wrens. A couple of Black-chinned Hummingbirds buzzed by while we searched for the flycatchers.

A stop at one of the overlooks added a Gray Vireo to our trip list. Once at the campgrounds we found several Black-throated Gray Warblers, Juniper Titmice, Pinyon Jays and Bushtits.

After seeing a Bewick's Wren at the northern entrance we headed south toward Montrose and the Black Canyon Gunnison National Park. We detoured into Escalante Canyon (Delta) and found several Chukars about 4.1 miles west of Hwy 50. The field around the old cabin added Mountain and Western Bluebirds to our trip list.

We ended our birding day at the Black Canyon Gunnison National Park. Again it was snowing quite hard. Two Dusky Grouse did come out of the woods and display for us. Unfortunately, we did not hear or see any Northern Pygmy-Owls this night.

May 7

At first light we sat in the blind at the Waunita Hot Springs Lek. Twenty three Gunnison Sage-Grouse put on a nice show for us.

As we later passed through Canon City, we stopped at a friend’s house. Here all were able to see a couple of Scaled Quail. The prize here was however a pair of Curve-billed Thrashers feeding 2 young.

Our next stop was Lake Cheraw (Otero). Birding was slow here, but we were able to count 2 Snowy Plovers, 2 Least Sandpipers, and a pair of Black-necked Stilts.

Our final stop of the day was the Fort Lyon Wildlife Easement. Black Rails called at both sites (1.8 miles east of CR 16 & JJ and CR 16 & HH).

May 8

I had decided to skip the Campo Lesser Prairie-Chicken lek because only one Lesser Prairie-Chicken had been visiting the site for the last 10 days. Instead we sat at the eastern Elkhart Lek in Kansas. Seventeen birds were observed displaying here; this made the extra drive quite worthwhile.

Dozens of Lark Buntings were observed performing their mating flight. Many Vesper Sparrows were also about. My heart got going when one birder said he heard a Henslow's Sparrow. Unfortunately we were not able to put binoculars on the bird. Several Grasshopper Sparrows were also in the area.

We headed to Cottonwood Canyon back in Colorado. On the way, several Burrowing Owls and a Long-billed Curlew were found along Baca County Road M, just east of Highway 385.

Cottonwood Canyon is always worth a visit. We found the usual birds: Canyon Towhees, Eastern Phoebes, Say's Phoebes, Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Mississippi Kites, Rock Wrens, Canyon Wrens, Chihuahuan Ravens, Red-tailed Hawks, and Blue Grosbeaks. I was able to also find a male Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

Heading north we stopped at Lamar Community College (Prowers). Birding was slow here. A male Northern Parula and Bay-breasted Warbler were added to our trip list.

Our last stop of the day was Bonny Reservoir (Yuma County). Our target bird, Common Poorwill was easily found along CR 4, just before the Kansas border. We also located an Eastern Screech-Owl just north of the most eastern Hale Pond. One or two Long-eared Owls were heard at the Hale Windbreak.

May 9

Again out at first light, we watched 9 Greater Prairie-Chickens at the CR 45 Lek. Many Vesper Sparrows and a Wild Turkey were also seen.

A stop at Red Lion Wildlife Area was superb. We all got good looks at an Upland Sandpiper. Several Spotted Sandpipers were around the ponds east of the wildlife area.

We swung around to Jumbo Reservoir where a male Baltimore Oriole was found at the southwest corner. The breeding plumage Common Loon was found along the north shore.

Birding was slow in Sterling and we continued west to the Pawnee National Grasslands (Weld). We skipped Crow Valley Campgrounds (heard it was slow) and headed to CR 96 (west of CR 77). Many McCown's Longspurs were found but only three of us saw a Chestnut-collared Longspur.

Our next stop was the field north of CR 94 & CR 63. Two Mountain Plover were eventually located along the gravel road heading north.

Since we still needed a better look at Chestnut-collared Longspurs we drove north to CR 114 and Hwy 85. This time we ran into a tremendous rainstorm. The gravel roads were turning to mush. All four vehicles made it to Hwy 85 & CR 114 just as the rain stopped. A quick hike in the field to the southeast added 5 Chestnut-collared Longspurs to our trip list.

Our last stops of the day were Lower Latham Reservoir and Beebe Draw Ponds. A few Long-billed Dowitchers and the Ross's Goose were seen south of Lower Latham Reservoir. A Black-necked Stilt, Long-billed Dowitchers (unfortunately no Short-billed Dowitchers), Spotted Sandpipers and Wilson's Phalaropes were spotted here.

We said our goodbyes as the sun set to a colorful western sky.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Drive Around Adams County

May 3, 2007

Several members of the Illinois Ornithological Society and I went over to Barr Lake this afternoon. Winds were 25-30 mph with gusts into the 40s.

Only a few birds ventured out into the wind. Peter Weber found the adult Harris's Sparrow behind the Visitors Center. A few House Finches, House Sparrows, and Red-winged Blackbirds visited the feeders.

We hiked from the footbridge to the boat ramp (1.5 miles to the north). A couple of House Wrens, a Song Sparrow, and Downy Woodpeckers were found between mm 9.0 to mm 8.0.

Three Swainson's Hawks soared overhead and put on a nice show with their mating behavior.

A Swainson's Thrush and Orange-crowned Warbler were found between mm 8.0 and mm 7.5 .

A small flock of Chipping Sparrows fluttering around the trees at the boat ramp restrooms.

Burrowing Owls were again found at 3.4 miles east of Tower Road & 96th avenue and also at Powhaton Road & 128th avenue. A Ferruginous Hawk flew over Tower Road. The usual Horned Larks were also spotted along the DIA Owl Loop.

It was a nice start to a week of grouse searching!

May 2, 2007

I took the time to ride my bike around the 7.8 mile bike path circling Aurora Reservoir. Birding was quite slow. Two Great Blue Herons and four Song Sparrows were the highlight.