Saturday, February 23, 2008

Birding Adams, Weld, and Arapahoe Counties

February 23, 2008

Bryan Ehlmann and I returned to the South Platte River at 88th avenue and Colorado Blvd. Temperatures just reached into the 50s. Winds were 10-20 mph all day. We hiked south to I270 and back with a side trip along Clear Creek over to Washington Blvd. Highlights:

A male Barrow's Goldeneye was again on the Platte near the green & white tower. A Northern Shrike was on the east side of the Platte River north of Hwy 224. A Harris's Sparrow was found in the brush south of Clear Creek and east of York Street. A Prairie Falcon and Northern Harrier were observed flying up the Platte River during the return to our car.

Our next stop was Banner Lakes east of Hudson. There were few birds around, but we took photos and GPS waypoints for future reference. The 200+ Great-tailed Grackles are still flying around several cottonwoods north of I76 and near mile marker 29.2.

Bill Cryder reported an adult Great Black-backed Gull at Aurora Reservoir this morning and we headed back that way. By the time we arrived there were few gulls at the reservoir. No swans either.

Instead of waiting until dusk when they might return, we drove over to meet Gary Weston at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). While scoping the open water from the southwest marina, we found the adult Great Black-backed Gull on the ice around the open water off to the north.

We noticed a white bird(s) way back at the east end and rushed over to the ski boat rental area. Perhaps we had found the missing swans from yesterday? The bird turned out to be an adult American White Pelican. There was one Double-crested Cormorant which we had also seen yesterday.

On our rush over, we stopped briefly to look at ducks at the Cottonwood Wetlands Pond (50 percent ice covered). One male Cinnamon Teal was among Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Gadwalls, and American Coots. Two Great Blue Heron also searched for food.

Bet the Cinnamon Teal is surprised to see so much ice. Eighty percent of the lake is still snow and ice covered. I have not been back to the 12 mile Beaver Pond recently to see if it is frozen. That is where the teal usually hang out.

While searching for swans yesterday we also stopped by Denver City Park (Denver County). Here we found 9 Double-crested Cormorants at the rookery at Duck Lake. They were not around last Tuesday; so they came in sometime in-between.

No comments: