Monday, October 29, 2007

Local Denver Reservoirs

October 27, 2007

I returned to Denver late yesterday afternoon and found little on Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County). Met up with Gus Chambers and headed out about 3:00am to do some owling. We struck out at both Pine Valley Ranch Park and Reynolds Park. Winds were calm; temperatures in the high 40s. Unfortunately, we did not have time to hike around Pine Valley Ranch Park (only searched around the lower parking area).

After sunrise, we quickly hiked up to the junction of Oxen Draw, Eagle's View, and Raven's Roost. No Blue Grouse, but we did find a female American Three-toed Woodpecker about 15 yards north of the intersection.

Afterwards, we rushed Gus to DIA to make his flight home.

After getting a text message about scoters in the area, I decided to check the local reservoirs.

First stop, Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). There were 7 Surf Scoters (Allison Hilf had reported 6) just offshore near the gull-winged picnic tables. Two Common Loons swam off the handicapped fishing dock. Allison also reported a Pacific Loon which I did not take time to search for (and later Glenn Walbek found a Red-throated Loon, which I could not relocate later in the day).

At my next stop Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas), I managed to find another Pacific Loon and another Common Loon. I did find my main target, a Thayer's Gull at the sand spit at the marina area. I did not find the reported Lesser Black-backed Gull or Ross's Geese.

My final stop (before returning to Cherry Creek Reservoir) was Standley Lake. It took awhile, but I was able to relocate (all reported by Doug Faulkner early in the day) 2 Surf Scoters, 3+ Black Scoters, 2 Common Loons, and my third Pacific Loon of the day!

Back at Cherry Creek Reservoir, I did not arrive until it was almost too dark to see. Missed the Red-throated Loon and planned to return on Sunday. However, first stopped at Rocky Mountain Arsenal and then decided to go to Barr Lake to look for the Ross's Gull.

What another beautiful fall day it was in Colorado!

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