Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cherry Creek Reservoir, Aurora Reservoir & Banner Lakes Wildlife Area

October 19, 2010

Richard Stevens:

We biked the 8.8 miles around Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe County) this morning. There were not many birds around; at least the weather was fantastic (cool temperatures and mild winds).

A Common Loon was swimming around the southeast corner (mile marker 4.5). Half a dozen Pied-billed Grebes were in that corner. Forty + Western Grebes swam in the middle of the lake.

Five hundred gulls were mostly Ring-billed and a dozen California. Ruddy Ducks, Redheads and a pair of Northern Pintail Duck topped the non-resident ducks.

We did not find any uncommon gulls, jaegers or scoters. Perhaps next trip.

The juvenile Sabine's Gull was found flying around below the dam at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).

The one holdout Burrowing Owl was still east of Picadilly Road at 0.5 miles south of 128th avenue. Hundreds of Eurasian Collared-Doves (400+) and 2 Great-tailed Grackles continue at the Picadilly Tree Nursery feedlot (south of 152nd and Picadilly).

In the afternoon, I looked for a place to go for a quiet walk and headed over Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld County).

I made a quick stop at Barr Lake (Adams) to look for the Common Loon reported a few days ago. No luck with the loon, I did see a Bonaparte's Gull flying below the dam. Many of the gulls were "resting" in the southeast corner of the rather water depleted lake (mile marker 7.0).

Both a Sora and Virginia Rail called from the cattails at Pond 7. A flight of longspurs some of which landed in the prairie dog village at the southwest corner of the property, included a Lapland Longspur, several Chestnut-collared Longspurs and two dozen+ McCown's Longspurs. It is always great to observe the three species at the same location.

The only warbler observed was a lone Orange-crowned Warbler in the windbreak at Pond 7.

At sunset, a flock of 22 Sandhill Cranes filled the air with their calls as they flew overhead!

I stayed until dusk; no owls flew about tonight.

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