Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Birding in Weld, Adams and Jefferson Counties

March 22, 2010

Richard Stevens:

Another beautiful day in Colorado, temperatures reached 70 degrees and winds were mild.

Bryan Ehlmann and I decided to hit some local birding locations before we left town for a week.

Our first stop was Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld County). Access to the northern property will end on April 1st. It was our last visit of the spring. Two Long-eared Owls were found in the windbreak west of Pond 7 (about 10 yards north of the sign for # 7).

Again, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks and a Great Horned Owl were found farther north along the windbreak.

We next stopped at 88th Avenue and Colorado Blvd and walked the South Platte River down to Highway 224. The pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes was again on the S. Platte River (about 10 yards south/upstream of the green/white tower).

The male Rusty Blackbird at Wheat Ridge Greenbelt (Jefferson) was quite cooperative. He flew up from west of the trail and landed in a tree along the bike path (at 30 yards north of Interstate 70). We never found the female and are not sure it has been seen in 5 or 6 days?

The male Barrow's Goldeneye was still on the eastern Bass Lake. Bob Spencer later reported a female Barrow's Goldeneye and 2 White-winged Scoters (both of which were not found by us).

Bob did relocate a Greater Scaup on Prospect Lake which I had possibly seen on 3/15 and again today (It was first reported by Todd Deininger on 3/14).

The Golden-crowned Sparrow at Red Rocks Park only made us wait 10 minutes before coming out to get some of the seed we put below the platform feeder behind the Visitor's Center.

The highlight of my day was a Williamson's Sapsucker at Genesee Mountain Park (Jefferson). It beat my earliest date by five days!

We ended our birding day at Lair 'O Bear Park (Jefferson). Two American Dippers were found along Bear Creek. Unfortunately, no owls responded to our recordings. Northern Pygmy-Owls have been found in past years. The habitat looks good for Northern Saw-whet Owls also.

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