Thursday, July 29, 2010

Acorn Woodpecker in El Paso County

July 21, 2010

Richard Stevens:

Having returned from the Western Slope, I was going to rest today. However the possibly of an El Paso County Acorn Woodpecker for my county lists was too much to ignore.

Rebecca Kosten and I arrived at the Colorado Springs yard around 1:00 pm. Shortly thereafter, the female Acorn Woodpecker flew to the house at 1203 Vista Drive! There are not going to be many Acorn Woodpeckers showing up in El Paso County, great sighting!

Next, we stopped at a friend's residence in Falcon. Robert and Lauren Staley have been providing photos every summer for years and it was nice to meet them finally!

Our route back to Denver was east along Hwy 24 to Elbert Road, then north to Highway 86. It provided us with an opportunity to look for Dickcissels along Elbert Road.

We eventually found Dickcissels at three locations including the traditional site at 4.1 miles south of Hwy 86. At least one Dickcissel flew up from the scattered alfalfa just north of the cornfield.

The other locations were 6.4 miles south of Hwy 86 and 12.0 miles south of Hwy 86. Both have extensive alfalfa fields.

We drove from Lake Gulch Road to Castlewood Canyon Road then north through Castlewood Canyon State Park (Douglas). Three male Bobolinks flew out of the grasses 0.2 miles south of the Winkler Ranch's entrance. No females could be found.

Other birds seen included Tree Swallows, Mountain Bluebirds, Western Bluebirds, Cordilleran Flycatchers, Spotted Towhees, Western Scrub-Jays, Rock Wrens, Vesper Sparrows, and a Savannah Sparrow.

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