Friday, December 14, 2007

Search for Pine Warbler

December 13, 2007

Gary Weston and I returned to the Denver West Office Complex (Jefferson County) hoping to get photos of the Pine Warbler.

The feeders north of building # 15 (south of # 17) were full, but no birds.

We ran into a flock of birds on the north side of building # 5 (about 600 yards south of # 15). The Pine Warbler was there with 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 11 Mountain Chickadees, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers, half a dozen American Robins, and 29 Red Crossbills. We did not find the previously reported Wilson's Warbler.

From there we drove over to Wheat Ridge Greenbelt and looked for Eastern Screech-Owls. None were out sunning themselves this morning. We checked Johnson Park for Waxwings; without success and headed back to Denver.

I dropped Gary off and drove over to Barr Lake (Adams). Two Bald Eagles stood on the ice just off the boat ramp. Don Belts had seen 9 Bald Eagles just 30 minutes earlier.

I met up with Don and we watched the Visitor Center's feeders for about an hour and a half. Finally the male and 3 female Northern Bobwhite came and fed under them.

A juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk flew over several times causing the sparrows, red wings, and bobwhites to scatter. A female Northern Harrier flew over twice and had the same affect.

More than a dozen White-crowned Sparrows, 2 Song Sparrows, a Pine Siskin, and a lone American Goldfinch were observed getting some "free food".

I had business in Denver and afterwards drove over to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) and again met up with Don Belts. More the half of the lake was ice covered. Hundreds of waterfowl and gulls were in an open area, unfortunately in the center of the lake.

On the trip over, I stopped at Village Greens Park (southwest of the State Park). While there were several thousand White-cheeked Geese, I did not pick out any Greater White-fronted Geese or Brants.

The only birds seen from the southern shore at Cherry Creek were 4 Hooded Mergansers and a dozen Northern Shovelers.

After leaving Don, I drove over to the south side. From here I could pick out a juvenile Thayer's Gull and 1st and 2nd Lesser Black-backed Gull. Glenn Walbek had earlier also found a 4th year Lesser Black-backed Gull and relocated the Long-tailed Duck I found the week before.

A quick trip around the campgrounds did not find any Bald Eagles or Great Horned Owls.

The plan to drive the DIA Owl loop was abandoned due to lack of daylight. Roads around there were snow blown and icy on my trip home.

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