Thursday, September 30, 2010

Five Owl Night

September 27, 2010

Richard Stevens:

I was to meet Scott Sever at Pinewood Springs at sunset to watch his owl banding. The traffic around Denver is such that one has to leave the metro area before 3:00 pm or be stuck in it for hours. Therefore, I wandered around Boulder County most of the morning and afternoon.

On the way northwest, I drove the DIA Owl Loop. At least 7 Burrowing Owls are still in the area. Many Swainson's Hawks remain also; both should be leaving soon.

A Common Tern was seen flying around St. Vrain State Park (a sliver of Weld County is between Boulder County and I25). At nearby Union Reservoir (Weld), another Common Tern and the Sabine's Gull were still there. Peter Plage reported both on 9/25.

I stopped by McIntosh Lake (Boulder) to see if I could get a better photo of the Pacific Loon. It was again too far out for much of a shot.

A walk around Pella Crossing Park (Boulder) did not find any uncommon birds. Both Dickcissels and Bobolinks historically have departed by the first week of August, gave it a try anyway.

No American Dippers were found at Meadow Park in Lyons. I walked the canal hoping to find a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker or anything uncommon; without success.

Finally, at sunset, I met up to Scott, Mary & John Thompson at Pinewood Springs. In three hours, one Northern Saw-whet Owl was caught in the three mist nets that Scott set up. As we were taking down the nets at 10:00 PM (locals complain about the noise and force Scott to quit at that time), I saw a Northern Saw-whet Owl perched in a tree near one of the nets. I prefer to count him instead of the one caught in the net!

Things picked up after I left Pinewood Springs. Eventually, I would have a five owl night!

Two Long-eared Owls were found at a private ranch in Boulder County.

Many stops were made along Pennock Pass Road (Larimer County Road 44H) and two Flammulated Owls were found (one each). While I was trying to determine a "last date" for Flammulated Owls on Pennock Pass, my main goal was to measure the height of the three successful nesting trees that I know (actually height of nesting holes from ground).

At Cameron Pass, I heard Boreal Owls at two of the three stops. With the Great Horned Owl at Meadow Park, that was my five owl night!

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