Sunday, September 26, 2010

Return to Rocky Mountain Arsenal & Barr Lake

September 26, 2010

Richard Stevens:

Jerry Petrosky joined me this morning as I returned to Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The Gray Vireos reported yesterday would be a new Adams County species for Jerry and me. Unfortunately, they were not found in our 4 hour search.

Weather was the opposite of yesterday. Winds yesterday morning before sunrise were 8+ mph until about 10:00 am when they died down. Today it was calm until 10:00am when winds picked up.

We started at 7:00 am (an hour later than my visit yesterday). I did not repeat the whole circuit from yesterday, but concentrated on the south side of Lake Ladora and the Rod & Gun Club trailhead.

No Yellow-rumped Warblers were found today. Wilson's Warbler count ended up at 57 with 29 of those at the New Mexico Locust grove at the R&G Club trailhead. The Cassin's Vireo was as yesterday in the tall cottonwood tree surrounded by the locust tree grove.

Below the Lower Derby Lake dam, a Plumbeous Vireo was again fluttering about at 40 yards west of the road.

A dozen Wilson's Warblers were in the trees at 6th avenue and Peoria (southwest corner of Lower Derby Lake). A pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and 2 Orange-crowned Warblers were in the same trees.

A MacGillivray's Warbler was under the tall cottonwood next to 6th avenue (red road post under it). Three House Wrens were seen on the way back to the southwest corner of Lake Ladora. A Townsend's Warbler was at this corner as well as a calling Virginia Rail.

Along the eastern side of Lake Ladora, there is a group of bushes about 6 feet tall and 14 feet long. This group is always a good place to find birds. Today there were 9 White-crowned Sparrows, 3 Lincoln's Sparrows, 2 Common Yellowthroats and a Northern Waterthrush in the bushes. The Northern Waterthrush flew down to the cattails about 10 feet south as we were leaving.

Other birds encountered during our 3.4 mile hike included: 2 Rock Wrens, 1 adult yellow shafted Northern Flicker, a male and female Hairy Woodpecker, 6 additional Orange-crowned Warblers, a Western Wood-pewee (6th & Peoria), and 2 Mountain Bluebirds.

Next, I hiked Buckley Road north from 56th avenue to about a mile north (where Jacob Washburn reported a Cassin's Vireo on Friday). The Cassin's Vireo was not found, but a Broad-winged Hawk stood on a telephone pole about 50 yards north of the vireo site.

On the way home I again stopped at Barr Lake. A walk from the boat ramp (mm 7.6) to the Niedrach footbridge (mm 9.0) did not find any vireos. Two Townsend's Warblers were just north of the banding station. Also observed were a Western Wood-pewee and an unidentified "Empidonax" flycatcher (not Dusky or Gray).

Burrowing Owls still at 3.4 miles east of Tower Road & 96th avenue. Another two were along Picadilly Road at 0.5 miles south of 128th avenue. I did not check the other occupied locations.

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