Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Great Birding Day in Jefferson County

March 10, 2010

Richard Stevens:

Having a good birding day! At 5:00am, I walked Wheat Ridge Greenbelt from Youngfield Street to Prospect Park and back searching for owls. I searched only 10 minutes for the Winter Wren; without success.

The male Barrow's Goldeneye was with a pair of Common Goldeneyes at the east end of West Bass Lake.

At 7:05am, the pair of Rusty Blackbirds was on the island in Clear Creek at 30 yards west of Interstate 70. At 7:14am, they flew west and stopped in the trees near the bike path. Two minutes later, they disappeared.

My next stop was Red Rocks Park. I put out food and waited an hour. Dozens of birds came out to eat; the Golden-crowned Sparrow was not one of them.

Next, I went to the Dinosaur Ridge Hawk Watch. When I reached the top, I ran into Mike Henwood. We walked south and found the Juniper Titmouse 100 yards south of the gate for the top of the Hawk watch. Many Townsend's Solitaires, Western Scrub-Jays and a pair of Black-capped Chickadee were also singing in the area. Look for south of the ridge, three snags next to a few Juniper trees and then a dead snag nest to the junipers.

The second half of my day was just as enjoyable. Although finding two new county birds for me was nice (Jefferson County: Juniper Titmouse & Rusty Blackbird).

After leaving the Dinosaur Ridge Hawk Watch (Jefferson County), I headed south and east to Louviers area (Douglas). One of the Lewis's Woodpeckers was at the usual "leaning tree". It later flew to the south to the fir tree with the Hawk's nest. For the next 20 minutes, it did not move; I left.

I circled south and east and ended up on Lake Gulch Road to Castlewood Canyon Road (hoping to find the Eastern Bluebird reported yesterday). On the trip, north along Castlewood Canyon Road I found only 3 male Mountain Bluebirds and 2 Western Bluebirds (all about 1.6 miles south of the Winkler Ranch entrance).

I the field below the hill west of Castlewood Canyon Road at 0.3 miles north of the Ranch's entrance, four Wild Turkeys wandered around. No uncommon birds were found to the north in the state park.

My next stop sort of on the way home was the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams). As I pulled into the Visitor's Center parking area, the Harris's Sparrow was below the western feeders. The sparrow stayed for another 10 minutes until a vehicle drove past.

My final stop of the day was Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld). The potential of the area is fascinating. Unfortunately, the lakes and windbreaks north of Highway 52 will close access on April 1 (to July 15) to allow waterfowl a quiet nesting area.

I walked about 7 miles and again tried to cover the area as much as possible. Spent over half the time at the southern sections (south of Hwy 52). Long-eared Owl count was 5 (North) and 2 (South). A single Great Horned Owl was found at both sections.

Hawks included: again a Ferruginous Hawk, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 American Kestrels, and a pair of Northern Harriers.

No comments: