Sunday, June 13, 2010

Barr Lake and Boulder County

June 2, 2010

Richard Stevens:

I was supposed to sit at a desk all day and finish up June's "Colorado Field Notes". Thought I would hike a bit first so went over to Barr Lake (Adams County). Only spent two hours and hiked from mile marker 0.2 (south end of the Niedrach Trail) to mm 8.0 to the north.

A Blackpoll Warbler was in the cottonwoods and willows at mm 0.2. I observed a thrush at mm 8.2 (just south of the Pioneer Trail) that looked good for a Gray-cheeked Thrush. However, I did not see it for very long. It is always a difficult id and I could only be quite sure, but not positive (I would say 90 percent sure, but what does that really mean?).

Then I stopped at Rocky Mountain Arsenal on the way home (obviously I did not want to go home and look at a computer monitor for the rest of the day). Hiked to the Rod and Gun Club pond and back, again only taking 2 hours. An American Redstart was in the woods below (west) of Lower Derby Lake. Many Yellow-rumped Warblers, Yellow Warblers, and not much else in Russian Olive Trees below the lake.

Now sitting at my computer unless someone finds a neat bird to chase.

I did not stay home long instead went chasing the Carolina Wren in Boulder County.

A good reason to describe locations of birds, when I arrived at the Centennial Trail and decided to use the GPS Waypoints provided by another birder, I ended up going to three different parts of the trail (it turned out that the waypoint was quite a bit off course from the actual wren location).

Depending upon the purchase price of a GPS or if the person just got the waypoint off the internet, the GPS waypoints may not be near as accurate as one would hope (as was the situation in this case). I will not be depending upon waypoints in the future!

One positive state of affairs did come out of my driving around Boulder, at a section of the Centennial trail near Mohawk and Pitkin Drives (actually 20 yards north of Pitkin) a woman asked about a bird she had just seen.

When I walked back with her, we found a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak singing along Bear Creek!

Back on the Centennial Trail (my second hike along here from Baseline Road north), a Carolina Wren called briefly in response to my recording! It was about 100 yards south of Old Tale Road.

I had walked from Baseline to the Park at 55th Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue and back once already, but abandoned the search because it did not fit the GPS waypoint. I was happy that I had come back!

Along the first hike, we did see 2 Bobolink in the Boulder Bobolink Meadow just south of the Centennial Trail (and north of Baseline; Llamas in the field just to the east of the meadow).

The rest of our birding day was spent by hiking the Walden Ponds-Sawhill Ponds in search of the previously reported Least Bittern.

One of the Little Blue Herons was seen at the northwest corner of Cottonwood Marsh (Walden Ponds). We then circled south into Sawhill Ponds and continued around west and north back to Walden Ponds.

I thought that a Least Bittern had answered my recordings. The call was so short that we could not be sure that it was even heard (so did not record a Least Bittern sighting/hearing).

A Green Heron was found along the northwest edge of Sawhill Pond # 4. Nothing else uncommon, plenty of the regular summer birds.

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