Friday, April 24, 2009

Grouse Trip Day 4

April 20, 2009

Richard Stevens:

Mary Ewing, Bob Bucci, and my birding day started at the Waunita Hot Springs Lek (Gunnison). Thirty one Gunnison Sage-Grouse danced around on a beautiful Monday morning.

On the way to Delta we stopped at several picnic areas to survey Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison). There were few gulls around. At Stevens Gulch Picnic Area we found 2 Sage Thrashers and 2 Sage Sparrows.

Confluence Park (Delta) was slow. No Bonaparte's Gull only a few Ring-billed Gulls were found.

Fruitgrower's Reservoir was more interesting. As we watched a lone Marbled Godwit and 3 Greater Yellowlegs, a flock of 22 Marbled Godwit flew over our heads from the north and landed at the northwest corner of Fruitgrower's Reservoirs.

A flock of 19 White-faced Ibis did not have any Glossy Ibis.

At dusk we searched Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (Gunnison) we searched for Dusky Grouse. Only one grouse was observed and just briefly at the Sunset View Overlook. Just west of the Sunset View Overlook I found a Northern Goshawk (that was reported to me 30 minutes earlier by Joe Bear and his Connecticut group).

After dark we drove the Grand Mesa where there was no wind and thousands of stars. On a most enjoyable night, we found 4 Boreal Owls (all calling as we stepped out of our car, no tape recordings required!).

As a bonus we found a Northern Pygmy-Owl at the Powderhorn Ski Area!

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