Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Boulder County Owl Prowl

March 25, 2008

Gary Weston, Bryan Ehlmann, and I hiked up Shadow Canyon (accessed from the Mesa South Trail). We started around midnight and finished about 7:30 am. One problem is where to park your vehicle. There is no overnight parking at Mesa South Trail, so our trek started near Eldorado Springs.

Ted Floyd usually conducts an owl prowl up this canyon in early June, late May. We wanted to explore the area in early spring.

We did not hear or find any Eastern Screech-Owls around the parking area or during the walk along Eldorado Springs Drive. Once at the parking area we turned north and west into Shadow Canyon. The moonlight reflecting off the snow helped our trek and allowed us to use flashlights sparingly.

We guess our trek advanced to at least two miles up into the canyon. Footing was interesting several times and much caution to not slip on the ice and snow was required.

Just before entering Shadow Canyon a Northern Pygmy-Owl answered our recordings. Minutes later we had a response from a second Northern Pygmy-Owl that sounded quite far away.

Continuing up the canyon, we enjoyed a great surprise. Two Northern Saw-whet Owls were calling back and forth. Then a third Northern Saw-whet Owl also briefly joined in the concert. We never saw the owls as we did not want to use our spotlight. GPS readings were taken. Hopefully we can return during the day and see the landscape better. Perhaps a Northern Saw-whet Owl can even be located and observed!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tuesday night was a blast! Looking forward to doing it again! We will have to return when Flammulated Owls have come back to Colorado! Bryan Ehlmann, Brighton