Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cherry Creek Reservoir

December 31, 2008

Richard Stevens:

After the last few days of high winds, winds were calm when we drove through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County).

The Reservoir was 99+ percent frozen and we observed less than a dozen ducks out there. Several dozen White-cheeked Geese and 5 Great Blue Herons stood on the ice. It was a little strange to see the Great Blue Herons way out on the ice. What is that, protection from predators? They can not break through the ice for fish, can they?

A Virginia Rail walked below the wooden bridge at the Cottonwood Creek loop. The usual common birds were at the wetlands pond (same as Beaver Pond). Not a single American Tree Sparrow was found?

No sparrows were in the campground areas. I could not find the Great Horned Owl that was observed a few weeks ago. No response to my rather poor owl imitations.

We walked down to the south end of the 12 mile Beaver Pond to enjoy the sunny and calm afternoon. However, once the sun set it got cold quite fast. We managed to find 2 Virginia Rails and a Wilson's Snipe. Green-winged Teal, American Coots, Mallards, and a couple of Northern Shovelers were just about it on the unfrozen pond. Not much on the mud flats and only a couple of Song Sparrows were in the cattails.

We hung around until it was quite dark to see if the Short-eared Owl would fly around; did not see one.

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