Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Leisure Birding in Arapahoe & Douglas Counties

March 26, 2008

Recovering from yesterday's all night owl prowl. I drove over to Aurora Sports Park (Arapahoe County) a little after Noon. It was a beautiful spring day with temperatures that reached 70 degrees. Unfortunately, winds were 20+ mph.

The male Greater Scaup found yesterday by Jerry Petrosky was still at the only pond in the park. Also there were 22 male & 18 female Lesser Scaups, 4 American Coots, Gadwalls, Mallards, one Northern Pintail Duck, and a Great Blue Heron.

Unfortunately, a guy stopped and let his three dogs jump into the pond. No telling how long the ducks will stay around.

While at Aurora Sports Park I received a text message that White-winged Doves were found in the Stroh Ranch neighborhood south of Parker (Douglas County). So what the heck, I headed that way.

I parked at the Recreation Center at East Creekside Drive and South Silver Creek Street. A walk around the area for an hour was quite interesting. First I ran across a Sharp-shinned Hawk along J Morgan Blvd. Then a Cooper's Hawk came out of the Pines along Nate Circle (just north of E. Creekside Drive).

While I was on S. Silver Creek Court, two Eurasian Collared-Doves flew overhead.

Finally, when I was at E. Clear Creek Way and S. Silver Creek Street (for the third time) I heard a White-winged Dove (to the southwest of the intersection). It was coming from behind the houses, so I circled around and took the bike path that headed north off E. Creekside Drive. The White-winged Dove was in pines in the only yard with feeders along the path!

From here I continued South to Castlewood Canyon State Park. Not much was "happening" at the east side and I continued south to Lake Gulch Drive and then west to Castlewood Canyon Road.

The drive north along Castlewood Canyon Road to the west side of the park was slow bird wise. More Western Bluebirds (3 pairs) than Mountain Bluebirds (2 pairs) were counted (across from the old Winkler Ranch).

The only bird seen once I entered the park was a lone Turkey Vulture flying overhead at the north end of the park.

The Walker Pits north of Castlewood Canyon State Park (and north of Hwy 86) had a dozen Common Mergansers, a couple of Common Goldeneyes, and a few Gadwalls. No swans (they have not been reported for several weeks now). The Great Horned Owl is still on her nest (south Walker Pits, east side of road, and north of hwy 86).

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