Monday, March 22, 2010

Grouse Trip

March 16-20, 2010

Bryan Ehlmann:

Tuesday 16th:

A CoBus sponsored Grouse Trip started today.

No Ptarmigan were found in a 2-hour search on Loveland Pass, Clear Creek County.

Two pairs of Barrow's Goldeneyes were found at the Blue River Water Treatment Pond, Summit County.

Rosy Finches were also missed in Kremmling and the cliffs north of town, Grand County.

No Three-toed Woodpeckers were found along Rabbit Ears Pass, Grand County.

Obviously, the trip had not started out well. The day ended okay as two Greater Sage-Grouse were seen after sunset crossing CR 26, north of highway 14, Jackson County.

Wednesday 17th:

Three Sharp-tailed Grouse were seen at sunrise walking the hills at the 20-road lek near Hayden, Routt County. Later 80 route was checked out. There was too much snow to drive up the road.

The drive from Craig to Rifle was uneventful. Two Chukar were spotted at Cameo (a.k.a. Bookcliffs at Coal Canyon). The group parked at the second iron pipe gate north of the power plant. Then walked around the hill to the north and down to the wet area where the Chukar were found.

No Three-toed Woodpeckers or Northern Pygmy-Owls were found at Powderhorn Ski Area on the Grand Mesa, Mesa County. Several calling Boreal Owls were heard after dark along highway 65, south of the Spruce Grove Campgrounds.

Thursday 18th:

The group had a good day, finding all their target birds.

Gambel's Quail were found outside the southern entrance to the Colorado National Monument, Mesa County.

While no Black Phoebes were found up Escalante Canyon, Delta County, a pair of Chukar was seen just east of the old sheep corral.

Two Lewis's Woodpeckers were found below the dam at Fruitgrower's Reservoir, Delta County.

The group ended their birding day at the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, Gunnison County. A Dusky Grouse was found along south rim drive between the entrance and Visitor's Center.

Friday 19th:

The weather was poor today. Snowstorms blanketed the state. The group drove over to the Waunita Hot Springs Lek anyway and was rewarded with brief glimpses of two Gunnison Sage-Grouse.

Afterwards they drove to Pueblo where it was decided to head toward Denver instead of driving to Springfield in search of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. All participants had already seen Lesser Prairie-Chickens, so there was no lost.

Saturday 20th:

Instead of stopping in Denver, the group continued on to Wray, Yuma County. Early in the morning, three Greater Prairie-Chickens were seen on the CR 45 Lek.

Before returning to Denver, the group swung south to Bonny Reservoir, Yuma County. Weather had improved and many birds were found. Both Long-eared Owls and Eastern Screech-Owls were found at the Hale Ponds area. Several Red-bellied Woodpeckers also.

A Harris's Sparrow was seen at the woodpile along Yuma County Road 4, east of CR LLL.5.

They stopped at Flagler Reservoir, Kit Carson on the trip back to Denver. Another Red-bellied Woodpecker was seen in the woods along the east side of the reservoir.

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