Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jumbo Reservoir and Search for Sprague's Pipits

October 1, 2010

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I headed up to Sedgwick County to search for Sprague's Pipits.

Our first stop however was Jumbo Reservoir (Logan/Sedgwick). It is a long way to drive from Denver and pass up this birding gem. We were not disappointed.

From the south end of Jumbo, we found a couple of Caspian Terns and a Black-bellied Plover. A Blackpoll Warbler was foraging at the south end of the eastern Campgrounds. We saw 14 Greater White-fronted Geese from the northeast corner of Jumbo. Two Red-necked Phalaropes were off the northern Campgrounds.

Finally, we checked the trees below the western side of Jumbo. Many times, I have found a Northern Cardinal down there. No luck with that, but a great consolation prize was a Cape May Warbler in the tall trees below the southwest corner of the reservoir.

On the way east to Julesburg, we stopped by Little Jumbo Reservoir and Red Lion Wildlife Area. A Nashville Warbler was fluttering about the trees on the east side of Little Jumbo. Red Lion was dried up, no birds.

We hiked over to the grove of trees several hundred yards east of the parking area. Occasionally a Red-bellied Woodpecker or uncommon sparrow has been recording here; unfortunately, there were none today.

We also wandered through the fields east of the parking area hoping to "kick up" an uncommon migrating sparrow such as a Baird's or Le Conte's; no luck with that either.

Roger Danka joined us and we spent the rest of the day searching for Sprague's Pipits in the fields and rolling hills of Sedgwick County. Two Sprague's Pipits were found along Sedgwick County Road 59, between CR 30 and CR 26.

Quite a few American Pipits were also around. Fortunately, the blank stare and big eye of the Sprague's Pipit stands out.

As a side note, we also searched around Logan County Road 64.5, west of CR 93. No Sprague's Pipits for us, however, Cole Wild found one the next day. That's birding!

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