Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Birding Around Denver; Harris's Sparrow at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

November 3, 2010

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I were at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County) when it opened. It is dark enough at 7:00 am, that a search for Long-eared Owls is possible. Unfortunately, none was found this morning.

As the sun came up, we hiked to the Rod & Gun Club Pond and Bird Blind. Sparrows were not as numerous as past years, however we did find a hundred or so.

American Tree Sparrows have arrived. Three loose flocks totaled 61. Song Sparrows were along the west side of Lake Ladora, numbered 7! White-crowned Sparrows were most numerous back at the feeders north of the Visitor's Center.

A Marsh Wren surprised us at the 6th avenue woodpiles (south side of Lake Ladora).

The highlight of the trip was a Harris's Sparrow that was with a loose flock of 17 American Tree Sparrows, 9 White-crowned Sparrows and 2 Song Sparrows. This flock "followed the sun" and came out of the New Mexico Locust Grove just west of the R&G Club Bird Blind. They were at the southern fork in the R&G Club trail.

Bryan found 2 Lapland Longspurs in the short grass around the Prairie Dog town between Lake Ladora and Havana Ponds. Only a few Ring-billed Gulls and Killdeer were around Havana Ponds.

The creek/canal below Lower Derby Lake was quiet. No warblers were found the entire hike.

After lunch, we decided to prove to ourselves that few birds were around. However, one never knows until one tries.

A trip around Bluff Lake Nature Area (Denver County) found few birds.

Star K Ranch Open Space (Arapahoe) did have a few birds. Twelve Dark-eyed Juncos, eight one Robins, six Downy Woodpeckers and one Hairy Woodpecker. The highlight was our second House Wren of the day. Strange that no sparrows were found around the loop.

We ended our birding day at the Aurora Sports Park (Arapahoe County). Few birds except Robins, Northern Flickers, European Starlings and a couple of Downy Woodpeckers, that was it. Sparrow count was less than a dozen (3 Song Sparrows, 5 White-crowned Sparrows).

We managed to miss any warblers throughout the day.

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