Friday, December 26, 2008

Search for Gulls

December 26, 2008

Richard Stevens:

I met Bill Cryder at Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe County) early in the morning. We sat and scoped the reservoir for several hours (from a point south of the west side and south end of the dam).

No uncommon gulls could be picked out when we arrived. However, about 45 minutes later 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew in from the north (direction of DADS, Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site). About 30 minutes later a 1st cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull flew in with a group of 80-90 Ring-billed Gulls.

During our stay we also saw 7 Herring Gulls and 1 California Gull. The adult Mew Gull observed on 12/24 was never picked out. We hiked down to the swim beach and halfway across the northern end of the dam.

We did not hike around to the southeast corner because there did not appear to be any gulls down there. The Barrow's Goldeneye and Greater Scaup 12/24 were probably missed because of the lack of that hike.

In the afternoon I drove up to the South Platte River and 88th avenue area hoping to get photos of the gulls observed yesterday. There were many Ring-billed Gulls and several Herring Gulls on the ice near the open water. No Glaucous Gulls were found.

I scoped East Gravel Lake from the dirt mound outside of the fence on the north side. Only Ring-billed Gulls and a male Barrow's Goldeneye, Common Mergansers, American Coots, Northern Shovelers, Mallards, and Gadwalls were found.

I scoped the northern West Gravel Lake from the northwest corner. Again only Ring-billed Gulls and one Herring Gull were here.

My birding day ended at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) hoping that the Glaucous Gulls had moved down there. The reservoir is completely iced over and no birds were on the ice. I thought the warm 41 degree winds would have opened up a little water; they did not.

I hung around to see if the Short-eared Owl would put in an appearance; it did not. No uncommon birds were at the south end of the 12 mile Beaver Pond. Great sunset however!

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