Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Northeastern Colorado

August 26, 2010

Richard Stevens:

I searched for Eastern Screech-Owls in Sterling about 2 hours before sunrise; without success. Both Overland Park and Pioneer Park were checked. While looking in the Sterling Cemetery, I found a Golden-winged Warbler! A Mississippi Kite was observed flying over Columbine Park.

Later I returned to Overland Park and found a Yellow-billed Cuckoo north of the S. Platte River. I was hoping for a Black-billed Cuckoo. As far as I remember, none has been reported here for at least half a dozen years now.

Birds were rare as temperatures warmed up and winds were 18+ mph.

Sterling Reservoir (Logan County) was quiet. A Dickcissel was singing just west of County Roads 46 & 37. Only a few gulls flew around the reservoir. No terns were found. I did see a male Baltimore Oriole at the picnic area at the southeast corner of the lake. Not much was found at the Campgrounds.

I wandered around the fields northeast of Prewitt Reservoir (Logan/Washington) and found another Dickcissel near Logan County Roads 25 & 4. I continued northeast (saving Prewitt Reservoir for another day).

I stopped at Sections 1 & 2 West, Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area hoping to get a response from Yellow-billed or Black-billed Cuckoos; without success. No Bell's Vireos could be found either. They may not have left the area yet; none responded to my recordings. Two Red-bellied Woodpeckers and a male Northern Cardinal were in the cottonwoods here.

In the afternoon, I walked Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan) from Highway 55 to CR 93 and back. According to my GPS, it was 6.7 miles one way. The winds kept mosquitoes to a minimum.

Highlights included:

On the trip east, I found an American Redstart, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and male Northern Cardinal around Tamarack Pond. A Field Sparrow was along the windbreak at section 7 east.

At least five Red-headed Woodpeckers were counted. Warblers were scarce. Another male Northern Cardinal was seen at 6 East and a third at 14 East (east of Tamarack Pond). Three additional Red-bellied Woodpeckers were encountered.

By the time I turned back west, it was almost sunset. My pace quicken; however, I stopped at every section playing Eastern Screech-Owl recordings and Northern Saw-whet Owl recordings.

Eastern Screech-Owls answered at two locations. One being between 6 & 7 east. The other west of 3 East.

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