Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Foothills Birding

September 30, 2008

Richard Stevens:

Mark Hanson and I started our birding day on Mt Evans (Clear Creek County). We found 2 Brown-capped Rosy Finches at the northeast corner of Summit Lake. Another 3-4 Brown-capped Rosy Finches were at the northwest corner. We hiked about a half mile up (south) Mt Evans Road (which is closed to vehicles at Summit Lake) but did not find any White-tailed Ptarmigan.

A quick 30 minute stop at Genesee Mt Park (Jefferson) did not find any Williamson's Sapsuckers.

Our final stop was Pine Valley Ranch Park and Pike National Forest (Jefferson). We had to hike all the way up the Strawberry Jack Trail to the Parkview Trail before running into an American Three-toed Woodpecker. A female was approximately in the same location reported by Merlynn Brown last week (several hundred yards south of the Parkview Trail).

After I dropped Mark off, I went over to nearby Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). As I got out of my car the dark mantled Gull that others are calling a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew along the north shore line of the Lake Loop. It was difficult to miss, large and dark mantled.

From this vantage point I saw 4 (up to 6) Sabine's Gulls. A Red-necked Grebe was fairly close to shore and there could have been 2 Red-necked Grebes. The many boats were chasing the gulls and waterfowl around quite a bit. I never located the Long-tailed Jaeger (if it is still there). Two small terns (definitely not Forster's Terns) stayed quite a distance from my location.

Many American White Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, a few Horned Grebes, Eared Grebes, and Pied-billed Grebes were among many Western Grebes. I did not see any Clark's Grebes. Also did not have time (daylight) to search for the Mew Gull.

North Park

To be filled in later!

Denver National Wildlife Refuges and Aurora Reservoir

To be filled in later!

Fall Counts

To be filled in later!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A.M. Bailey Bird Sanctuary

September 22, 2008

Richard Stevens:

I decided to drive up to Summit County and search for the Hooded Warbler reported last week by Forrest Luke. I had waited too many days, but enjoyed the trip back into the mountains.

My arrival was timed just before sunrise to see if any Rosy Finches were coming down from higher elevations yet. No Rosy Finches were found but many other mountain species were visiting local feeders. Birds observed included Mountain Chickadees, Black-capped Chickadees, a pair of Pine Grosbeaks, Pine Siskins, 3 species of nuthatches, and Clark's Nutcrackers. Two Band-tailed Pigeons were the highlight.

About 45 minutes were spent searching for the Hooded Warbler along Johnson Road north of Silverthorne; without success. There are plenty of willows along the Blue River for the warbler to wander along.

The weather was fantastic and I decided to conduct a one man fall count at A.M. Bailey Bird Sanctuary up Rock Creek. About halfway between the parking area and the sanctuary, a male American Three-toed Woodpecker worked the trees on the east side of the trail. Another Three-toed Woodpecker was later found across Rock Creek at the west side of the sanctuary.

No Northern Pygmy-Owls were enticed into calling. A pair of Red-naped Sapsuckers flew about the Aspens. Other birds encountered included McGillivray's Warblers, Wilson's Warblers, 2 Fox Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Song Sparrows, a Dusky Flycatcher, a Hammond's Flycatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

A hike about a mile up the Ptarmigan trail (above tree line), found no Ptarmigan and I returned to my car.

My birding day ended at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). I was too tired to walk/circle the lake, instead scoped the lake for about an hour from below the dam. A juvenile Sabine's Gull flew around the west side of the Lake Loop, drove many times into the water hopefully catching a meal. Another juvenile Sabine's Gull flew around the swim beach area. A small tern near the east side of the Lake Loop was too far away to identify.

If the Long-tailed Jaeger was still there, it did not fly around. I only half heartedly searched through the hundreds of Western Grebes swimming around. If a Clark's Grebe was out there, I did not find it. The Mew Gull was not picked out among the several hundred Ring-billed Gulls flying about.

Half a dozen California Gulls, 60+ White Pelicans, and 14 Double-crested Cormorants stood on the southwest sandbar. An adult and juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron and 3 Great Blue Herons stood on the telephone poles outlining the southwest marina. The pelicans watched me as I enjoyed watching them. The Night-Herons waited for food to swim by and appeared to ignore me altogether. The Snowy Egret count was down to 9 from my vantage point.

Winds were calm; the air had the crisp cool smell of fall. Leaves have not changed colors yet at lower elevations; one of my favorite times of year to watch sunset (no mosquitoes). Unfortunately there was only a hint of sunset as the sun disappeared into the clouds over the mountains. It won't be long before the leaves turned to gold, fall off, then winter……….

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pawnee National Grasslands

September 21, 2008

Richard Stevens:

John Carlson and I went searching for Mountain Plover on the Pawnee National Grasslands. It is getting late in the year, but we thought we would give it a shot. Our 6 hour searched turned up without any Mountain Plover sightings. We hiked for hours in the field north of Weld County Road 94 and 63. Then we tried for another couple of hours along CR 96, north of Murphy's Pasture.

In the second field we did run into two Chestnut-collared Longspurs and a dozen McCown's Longspurs! Horned Larks were plentiful. We did not find any Lark Buntings however.

A brief stop at Crow Valley Campgrounds was uneventful. We did find a House Wren, Hermit Thrush, and Brown Thrasher.

No Mountain Plover were found at Highway 14 and CR 51. The search for the Lesser Black-backed Gulls at the Weld County Landfill was also unsuccessful.

We did not have time (daylight) to checkout Lower Latham and Loloff Reservoirs.

Mt Evans and Denver Foothills

September 20, 2008

Richard Stevens:

John Carlson and I headed up into the mountains today. Our first stop was Mt Evans and Summit Lake. When we hiked to the northwest corner of Summit Lake, three+ Brown-capped Rosy Finches were flying around the shore line. They were to the rocks up the hill, landed for half a minute and then continued to the southwest corner of the lake.

We decided to try our luck and hike up the Mt Evans Road (south and uphill). While trying to decide how far we would hike, I noticed a White-tailed Ptarmigan on rocks on the west side of the road. We barely had lost sight of Summit Lake (perhaps only 200 yards up the road).

Our next stop was Genesee Mountain Park to see if any Williamson's Sapsuckers were still around. We barely got out of our vehicle when a male Williamson's Sapsucker flew to the Ponderosa trees surrounding the parking area for the group picnic area. A 30 minute check of the area did not turn up a female and we decided that a trip to Pine Valley Ranch Park (for American Three-toed Woodpeckers) would be better use of our time.

The Three-toed Woodpecker that is quite often on the hill south of Pine Lake was not cooperative. We had to hike up the Buck Gulch Trail and Strawberry Jack Trail all the way to the Parkview Trail before hearing the distinctive drumming of a Three-toed Woodpecker. We eventually observed a female Three-toed about 200 yards south (downhill) from the Strawberry Jack & Parkview Trails.

I played a Northern Pygmy-Owl recording as we descended back to our car by way of the Parkview Trail. At the switchbacks where we could still see the eastern hills/mountains we heard a Northern Pygmy-Owl. It called for a good 10 minutes; however we never could put binoculars on the bird.

Daylight ended before we could hike to the western end of the Narrow Gauge Trail (where I had heard another Northern Pygmy-Owl earlier in the week).

Cherry Creek and Walk Along Sand Creek

September 19, 2008

Richard Stevens:

Gary Weston and I returned to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). Again we found the Long-tailed Jaeger and one or two Common Terns flying around the lake. Just east of the path down to the Bird Platform, a Cassin's Vireo accompanied a loose flock of birds which included 9 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, and a few Chipping Sparrows. They were moving toward the inlet canal at the Cottonwood Creek Loop when we left.

A check of Bluff Lake Natural Area (Denver) turned up almost no birds. So we decided to search the many willows along the bike path from Quebec Street to 56th Avenue. The habitat always appeared to be quite good for migrating birds and few birders report searching there.

We enjoyed good success. Two flocks of birds were found far enough apart that we knew they were different birds. The first flock about 800 yards northwest of Quebec Street included 2 Townsend's Warblers and a Plumbeous Vireo. Toward the north end of our trek we found another 2 Townsend's Warblers. In between we noticed 2 Northern Waterthrushes separately walking along the edge of Sand Creek. We also observed 3 House Wrens, 2 Double-crested Cormorants, Chipping Sparrows, 4 Brewer's Sparrows, 6 Song Sparrows, and a Clay-colored Sparrow.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Birding Around Denver

September 18, 2008

Gary Weston: Richard Stevens and I searched unsuccessfully for the Palm Warbler at Belmar Historic Park. We did find a Townsend's Warbler along the cement path at the extreme western border. This is where the large flock of warblers was last week.

We next went to Plaster Reservoir, Broomfield and McKay Lake which I believe is in Adams County. There wasn't much there.

We walked the path at Barr Lake State Park, Adams County from the boat ramp to the banding station. Again birding was slow. A Townsend's Warbler was south of the Pioneer boardwalk. At least one House Wren is still out there.

Richard Stevens:

After dropping Gary off, I drove over to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). I had just enough light to circle the lake (on foot). Again I counted many Snowy Egrets (28) but did not find the reported Little Blue Heron. The Long-tailed Jaeger flew several times from one end of the lake to the other.

A juvenile Sabine's Gull swam to the east of the Bird Platform (Cottonwood Creek Loop). At least one Common Tern was also in the southeast corner. It appeared that there were 4 small terns; I was able to only positively identify one before darkness.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pine Valley Ranch Park and Cherry Creek Reservoir

Richard Stevens:

September 17, 2008

I enjoyed quite a day of birding even though I missed all my target birds. It was a beautiful day with partly sunny skies, little wind, and mild temps.

Upon arriving at Pine Valley Ranch Park around 6:45am, I walked the Narrow Gauge Trail west from the parking area to the junction with the North Fork View Trail. The Narrow Gauge Trail runs along the north side of the creek. Many Wilson's Warblers fluttered about the willows that line the trail. Several bushes on the hillside to the north gave shelter to Green-tailed Towhees. On the hike to the North Fork Trail I counted 27 Wilson's Warblers, 2 MacGillivray's Warblers, and an Orange-crowned Warbler.

Quite a few birds were moving about at the junction with the North Fork View trail including a Clay-colored Sparrow, many Song Sparrows, a few White-crowned Sparrows, 2 Lincoln's Sparrows, 7 Wilson's Warblers, 5 Black-capped Chickadees. I briefly observed one bird (for 4 seconds) that appeared slightly larger than a Wilson's Warbler and was very yellow. There was no contrast between the yellow of the breast and the nape. The blackish wings had no wingbars. It never appeared again in the next hour. Whether it could have been the Prothonotary Warbler I won't know.

A short side trip along the Pine Lake Trail (south side of lake) added an American Three-toed Woodpecker to my day list. For those looking for a Three-toed Woodpecker, early mornings are best at the lower locations. As I have learned and was probably told by Merlynn Brown, the Three-toed Woodpeckers tend to start their day at the lower elevations and work their way up the hills throughout the day.

My hike continued west to the park boundary sign. It was here that the Harris's Sparrow was seen yesterday. Unfortunately no sparrows came around in the 30 minutes I watched the area. A flock of 6-8 Black-capped Chickadees entertained me during the wait. Two Wilson's Warblers and an Orange-crowned Warbler also came by the lower scrubs.

My trek continued west and south to the closed gate at the end of the Open Space. Up on the hill to the west, an American Three-toed Woodpecker worked the many dead trees. While I was watching the woodpecker, a Northern Pygmy-Owl called five times. However, I was never able to put binoculars on the bird. It was somewhere northwest of the barb-less wire fence (green metal posts) about 40 yards north of the closed gate.

On the walk back toward the Park Boundary Sign, an adult Northern Goshawk flew along the tree line south of the North Fork View Trail! It is always a treat to see this elusive Hawk.

Before leaving, I made the circuit of the Narrow Gauge Trail to North Fork View Trail to Pine Lake Trail twice more. Many Wilson's Warblers, a couple additional Orange-crowned Warblers, and 2 additional MacGillivray's Warblers were found along with an adult Green-tailed Towhee and 2 first year birds which still had streaked breasts.

I departed about 1:30pm and after lunch decided to search for the Mew Gull and possible Little Blue Heron at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). The shore at Cherry Creek Lake was completely searched at least twice. The total Snowy Egret count was 39. I even found 5 that could only be seen by walking the shore from the Mountain Loop to the Lake Loop. A Little Blue Heron was never found.

The gulls were a little more challenging as they moved around much. A large group was in the southeast corner, but by the time I arrived at that corner three people with dogs had scared them off to the Cottonwood Creek Loop (near the bird platform). By the time I drove over there, the gulls had returned to the southeast sand spit (but later flew again before I got back there once more).

While I may have seen a Mew Gull flying, picking it out of a large flock of flying Ring-billed Gulls (and at quite a distance) did not make for a positive ID. I was able to pick out a Franklin's Gull molting from alternate to basic plumage and a juvenile Sabine's Gull swam southeast of the bird platform. Also I noticed on three occasions the sub-adult Long-tailed Jaeger flying back and forth between the dam and the southeast corner.

A Common Tern stood on one of the buoys off the bird platform and was nice enough to fly and expose his wing pattern for a positive ID. There were at least 3 additional small terns farther away and whose ID was left unknown. It eventually became too dark to identify anything.

Eastern Plains

To be filled in later!

Return to Belmar Historic Park

Richard Stevens:

September 12, 2008

One of my favorite activities is walking around in the dark; it makes for great and successful owling! Second is walking around in the rain. Not an accomplishment that is easy to do in a state that boasts 330+ sunny days a year.

A Pine Warbler was reported yesterday at Belmar Historic Park and I decided to give the search a shot even though there was a downpour of rain. I put on my waterproof coat and pants and headed west. It rained so hard that eventually I was soaked.

Some of my best and favorite bird sightings have been during a rainstorm. A dozen or so of my lifebirds were seen during such conditions.

Today was no exception as I found a flock of 25-30 warblers fluttering about in the two tallest cottonwoods at the west end of Belmar Historic Park (Jefferson County). The biggest task was not finding the warblers which move around much even in rain, but to keep my equipment dry enough to see the birds.

Yesterdays Pine Warbler was easy to pick out with its white wingbars. The lack of a yellow rump distinguished it from the several Yellow-rumped Warblers.

The wet fall plumaged Tennessee Warbler was a little more difficult to identify from the 2 or 3 Orange-crowned Warblers also in the trees. Eventually I saw the white undertail coverts (yellow on Orange-crowned Warbler).

To my surprise a third uncommon warbler was moving about. It had the facial pattern of a Blackburnian Warbler. Once I was able to see the white streaks on its back, the identification was confirmed. If there are any streaks on the somewhat similar Townsend's Warbler, they would be black.

Other birds included 4-6 Wilson's Warblers, Chipping Sparrows, Brewer's Sparrows, 7 Black-capped Chickadees, and a Clay-colored Sparrow.

Several of the Wilson's Warblers and the Pine Warbler flew to the few fir trees north of the cottonwoods. From there they flew to the locust trees next to the houses west of the park. However, all returned to the fir trees and the cottonwoods. That is where I left them.

On the walk back to the parking area at the east end of the park, a Northern Waterthrush was found walking the roaring creek (next to the playground with the large rocks).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another Day Birding Around Denver

Richard Stevens:

September 11, 2008

I decided to bird some of the Denver areas that once were considered top birding locations. In recent years, bird numbers have been down there and few birders have reported visiting them.

My first stop however was Barr Lake (Adams County). A quick hike from the boat ramp to the Visitor's Center and back found few birds. Two Townsend's Warblers were high in the trees south of the Pioneer Trail. A lingering male Yellow Warbler and 2 House Wrens are still around.

In Brighton, Morgan-Smith Wildlife Area was a total bust.

Johnson Park (Jefferson) had very few birds around it. I hiked the path along Clear Creek for a mile west and gave up.

Wheat Ridge Greenbelt was once considered one of the top 5 birding locations in Colorado. Again, I found few birds, very few. A couple of Blue Jays and Northern Flickers were just about it.

Belmar Historic Park was also slow. I ran into a birder who said that a Tennessee Warbler was seen earlier in the day. It was with a flock of Black-capped Chickadees, Orange-crowned Warbler, and others. Only 2 Black-capped Chickadees and a female Yellow Warbler were found by me.

Deciding the day was a dud bird wise (still it was nice to walk around in the cooler weather) I turned for home. The decision to pass through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) on my way home turned out to be fortuitous.

I was going to try and relocate the Townsend's Warbler seen a couple of days ago. Upon arrival a couple of birders were scoping the lake. It turned out that they were looking at an intermediate sub-adult Long-tailed Jaeger!

The bird was not far off the east side of the Lake Loop and allowed us great views. I am quite confident that it is not the same Long-tailed Jaeger seen at Jackson Reservoir (Morgan) last week or the one seen in Boulder County. (Those two sightings could have been the same bird). This bird had whiter barring across its back.

Don Beltz mentioned that a flock of warblers in the area contained a Tennessee Warbler. Fortunate was good and the flock was located at the southern end of the tree line on the east side of the Lake Loop. The flock also included 2 Orange-crowned Warblers and a male Yellow Warbler.

Jerry Petrosky was in the park and headed over to meet me when he received the RBA text message about the jaeger. While he was coming over, I walked the west side tree line and relocated the Townsend's Warbler. It was in the bend of the tree line where it runs south to west.

After watching the jaeger for awhile, we headed over to the Cottonwood Creek Loop as Don had mentioned Sanderlings were on the mudflats there. Sure enough, two Sanderlings wandered among a dozen Killdeer.

Jerry and I were sidetracked a while by a flock of Black-capped Chickadees coming out of the two Russian Olive Trees east of the Cottonwood Creek Loop path leading down to the lake. They just kept coming, 39 in total. It had been a few years since I had seen so many at one time.

Loosely associated with the flock of Chickadees were 7 Wilson's Warblers and a beautiful Blackpoll Warbler. I had not found the one reported at the Lake Loop several days earlier and do not know if it was the same one?

As I left the park, I counted 6 Western Kingbirds, 5 Great Blue Herons, 2 Snowy Egrets, and a pair of Common Yellowthroat at the Cottonwood Creek Wetlands Pond. Many Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, and two Common Terns were around the sandbar near the southwest marina.

My birding day ended by circling the DIA Owl Loop. Plenty of Burrowing Owls are still around. My quick count was 14.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Birding Western Denver

Richard Stevens:

September 10, 2008

My plan was to search for the Prairie Warbler reported yesterday by Karleen Schofield at Belmar Historic Park and then head south to Chatfield Reservoir. Chatfield Reservoir appears to be under birded this year; thought I would give it a try.

At 6:45am I found 2 Townsend's Warblers in the trees over the gazebo. There was a third warbler with them. I only observed the face pattern (no body) for about 6 seconds. It may have looked like a female Prairie Warbler with the dark semicircle under the eye. I never relocated the bird and in hindsight am confident that I did not see or miss a Prairie Warbler.

At 7:30am, I was joined by Warren Finch and we found a flock of birds along the south side of Kountze Lake. The flock continued to flutter about the area for over an hour allowing us some nice looks.

Included in this loose flock were: 14 Black-capped Chickadees, 7+ Orange-crowned Warblers, 2 Clay-colored Sparrows (one a beautifully plumaged adult, the other a juvenile still with some streaking on its breast and flanks. Several Brewer's Sparrows (adults and juveniles) required close inspection to separate from the 2 Clay-colored Sparrows. Dozens of Chipping Sparrows (adults and juveniles) allowed for studying of the various species.

A single Virginia's Warbler was also in the mix. The early sunlight brighten the colors of the 2 male and 1 female Townsend's Warblers that were also observed all at the same time.

Later I circled the park twice, still searching for the Prairie Warbler; without success. A small flock of birds at the western end of the park included 7 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Wilson's Warblers, 3 Orange-crowned Warblers, and another male Townsend's Warbler.

I was close to Welchester Tree Park and decided on a detour up there. Again circling the park twice I found a couple of uncommon birds. At the Welch Ditch at the eastern end of the park a Northern Waterthrush walked the shore line. Its bobbing up and down caught my attention or it never would have been seen in the thick foliage and dead limbs it walked under.

A small flock of birds at the western end of the path north of the Welch Ditch included another female Townsend's Warbler, 2 Wilson's Warblers, 2 male Yellow Warblers, and dozens of American Goldfinches. A female Lazuli Bunting was perched on a short bush in the clearing west of the grove of trees.

After lunch I did head down to Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas). There I hiked the east side of the Platte River to south of the second pond. Then I hiked the west side from Kingfisher Bridge to the Discovery Pavilion. Finally I wandered around Plum Creek Delta south along the newish bike path for a mile.

Many common birds were still around; I did not find many uncommon ones. A few House Wrens, Gray Catbird, Yellow-breasted Chat, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Spotted Towhees, Cedar Waxwings, and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds included expected birds.

The highlight was a Long-eared Owl along the East side of the S. Platte. Rather not say location, if it is relocatable (is that a word?) I rather it was not disturbed.

At Plum Creek Delta I found my 8th Townsend's Warbler of the day. Not far from it was a young American Redstart. Both were 50 to 60 yards south of the footbridge. One or two Peregrine Falcons flew along Plum Creek.

I ended my day by driving Deer Creek Canyon Road searching for Northern Pygmy-Owls; without success.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Return to Jackson Reservoir

Richard Stevens:

September 9, 2008

Gary Weston and I arrived at Jackson Reservoir, Morgan County about 5:00am. We heard an Eastern Screech-Owl for our first bird of the day (assisted with a playback

When it was light enough to see, we picked out the juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger that was found yesterday. Unfortunately before it was light enough for a good photo, it flew
off to the west (I did get a witness shot but it is pretty dark. Can tell it is a jaeger, but not good enough for ID). We did not see it the rest of the morning.

While walking the north woods (Jackson WLA) a Red-eyed Vireo was added to our day list. The best birds were found in the southwest corner. Here we had an American Redstart, Nashville Warbler and Cassin's Vireo. The campgrounds were slow and we walked the west side to the north end hoping to find a Long-eared Owl or Short-eared Owl. Neither was seen, but a Barn Owl came out of the woods east of the northern campgrounds. Two Great Horned Owls were also observed.

We debated on whether to head northeast to Prewitt Reservoir but did not add the extra miles to our bodies.

Late in the afternoon, I went alone to Cherry Creek Reservoir, Arapahoe County. A search of the Blackpoll Warbler and Magnolia Warbler reported by Loch Kilpatrick a few days earlier was not successful.

At the trees north of the Mountain Loop, a small flock of birds included 3 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 male Wilson's Warblers, and an Orange-crowned Warbler.

At the trees at the western tip of the Lake Loop I was counting Chipping Sparrows (added up to 47). While doing this, 5 Black-capped Chickadees appeared in the two young and short Russian Olive Trees. Always worth watching a flock of Chickadees to see what else might accompany them, I scoped them for 20 minutes. Sure enough a Townsend's Warbler was with them.

Scoping the southeastern sand spit was a bust. Three or four dozen American White Pelicans and 2 Killdeer were the only birds there at 6:00pm. My final stop was the southwest sandbar. Many pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Ring-billed Gulls, a few California Gulls, and Common Tern were here.

Jackson Reservoir, Morgan County

Richard Stevens:

September 8, 2008

Rebecca Kosten and I heard that the Brown Pelican and Long-tailed Jaeger were no longer being reported in Boulder County. So we decided to drive east and checkout Jackson Reservoir, Morgan County.

On the way, we stopped at Crow Valley Campgrounds. Birding was slow but we did find a Brown Thrasher and a Cassin's Vireo. Several previous Mountain Plover locations were checked; without success. I then walked the road south from CR 96 (at 2.0 miles west of CR 77). Here I finally located a Mountain Plover. It was a juvenile bird.

Once at Jackson Reservoir, we hit the bonanza. A juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger was along the northeast shoreline. Mosquito numbers were tremendous………. We quickly scoped the corner and found a Semipalmated Plover among the mix. Further exploration was discouraged by the hordes of insects.

Owling Northern Colorado

Richard Stevens:

September 6 & 7, 2008

Mark and Eve Peters followed us up to Gould for two days. Target birds were owls. Our first stop was a good sign of success to come. We quickly found Flammulated Owls at two locations on Pennock Pass, Larimer County. An hour later I was able to find a calling Boreal Owl east of Cameron Pass!

Earlier (4:00am) Mark and I drove up Ruby Jewell Road. This is one of my favorite spots in Jackson County. At 4:37 am, we were able to put a spotlight (briefly) on a Boreal Owl! After sunrise, we observed 3 Red-naped Sapsuckers, a Swainson's Thrush, numerous Pine Siskins, and Mountain Chickadees in the area.

Back at the Gould Store, we watched hummingbirds for 30 minutes. Most were Broad-tailed, with a few Rufous, and one immature male Calliope Hummingbird. While watching the hummingbirds, Mark picked out 2 Townsend's Warblers in the tall trees above the store.

A stop at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center was entertaining also. We heard and put a scope on an American Three-toed Woodpecker. Hummingbirds were quite numerous. A few Mountain Chickadees and Pine Siskin also visited feeders behind the building. Wilson's Warblers, a MacGillivray's Warbler, and a Fox Sparrow fluttered about the willows.

A flock of 6 Red Crossbills stopped briefly in the trees west of the building. A couple of Gray Jays looked for a handout. Swallows included Tree and Violet-green.

The Peters left for Denver and we stayed in Gould for another night. In the afternoon we drove down to the ghost town of Teller City. I always enjoy a visit here. There is a self guided tour of the old town that sprung up during the Colorado Silver boom. In past visits Northern Pygmy-Owls and American Three-toed Woodpeckers were observed. We did not see any today, but it was an enjoyable ending to our day.

By the way, the road down to the ghost town almost surely requires a 4WD unless you care nothing about your passenger car.

Northeastern Colorado

Richard Stevens:

September 5, 2008

Rebecca Kosten and I stopped at Prewitt Reservoir, Logan/Washington Counties and enjoyed a fine afternoon of birding. Our interest was high enough for us to ignore the millions of mosquitoes. Could there have been billions?

Our day list included Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Cassin's Vireo, and Hooded Warbler. I played an owl tape to see if any sparrows would pop out of the tall grasses. Instead a nosy Eastern Screech-Owl called back. He must have wondered which of his buddies was making all the racket.

Besides the uncommon birds were saw White-crowned Sparrows, one White-throated Sparrow (below the dam), Western Wood-pewees, a couple of Empidonax Flycatchers, Spotted Towhees, a Green-tailed Towhee, Mountain and Black-capped Chickadees, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Downy Woodpeckers, and Western Meadowlarks.

Unfortunately, no unusual sparrows were among the Vesper, Brewer's, Lark, White-crowned, and Song Sparrows. We did see 2 Clay-colored Sparrows.

The hordes of mosquitoes discouraged us from setting up a scope and spanning the reservoir. There was a Common Tern flying back and forth. We did not want to stand still longer enough to get a good view of the lake.7

Golden Gate State Park & White Ranch Open Space

To be filled in later!

Waterton Canyon

August 27 & 28

To be filled in later!