Friday, March 13, 2009

Colorado Eastern Plains

March 10, 2009

Richard Stevens:

I needed to get out and bird alone and do some walking. It seems that I have been doing too much "car birding" lately. Temperatures were in the 30s or low 40s; at least winds were not as strong as last weekend.

I spent the day walking around Bonny Reservoir (Yuma County) but keeping in mind that I wanted to checkout a possible Greater Prairie-Chicken lek at sunset.

The first three hours I did my 4 mile loop around the Hale Ponds area. Red-bellied Woodpeckers were west of the most eastern pond and also along Yuma County Road 4.

A Brown Thrasher was seen in thickets near the driveway of the first ranch west of Hale Ponds. These bushes have been quite good for Harris's Sparrows and other sparrows in the past. A flock of 9 White-crowned Sparrows and 17 American Tree Sparrows were all that were here today.

Long-eared Owls can still be found wintering in the Hale Store windbreak. Having made a count earlier this winter, I only walked around long enough to confirm that at least two Long-eared Owls remain.

Next I walked the gated road along the south side of Bonny Reservoir. Another pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers and a flock of 7 Eastern Bluebirds were observed along here. The resident Wild Turkey left many tracks and eventually I found 2 of them crossing the road.

From the dam I could pick out 2 Greater Scaup among quite a few ducks and geese. At least two Cackling Geese, many Snow Geese, and at least 2 Ross's Geese were among the hordes.

Finally I walked CR 3 along the northern side of Bonny Reservoir. A pair of Northern Cardinals were west of the campgrounds. The Long-eared Owl observed earlier in winter in the windbreak east of the campgrounds was not found today.

No Burrowing Owls have arrive yet at the Yuma County Road 7 Prairie Dog Village just east of Highway 385. The nearby Greater Prairie-Chicken lek did not have any displaying birds this evening.

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