Monday, November 29, 2010

Cherry Creek Reservoir, Red Rocks Park and Park County

November 25, 2010

Richard Stevens:

I arrived at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County) about 45 minutes before sunrise and waited at the parking area just west of where Cherry Creek crosses until the main road. Short-eared Owls have been observed flying over the large cattail fields here. However, none did today.

Then I scoped Cherry Creek Reservoir from the Lake Loop to see if the Ross's Gull that was seen just offshore the evening before, was still there? It was not. I hurried over to the sandbar at the southwest marina only to hear that the Ross's Gull had just flown. A first year Thayer's Gull swam not far offshore!

On my way to the swim beach area, a quick stop at the old Jet Ski parking area turned out to be a good place to scope the southeast corner of the lake. Among the many Ring-billed and California Gulls, the adult Mew Gull and an adult and 2nd year Lesser Black-backed Gull were observed!

At the swim beach, I found the Ross's Gull flying around in the middle of the lake! Many gulls 600+ were at the swim beach. However, none was uncommon.

No loons, Trumpeter Swan appears to be gone, Western Grebes numbers were way down from 5:00 pm yesterday, Common Merganser numbers way up from last evening, and I did not see the Red-necked Grebe.

On my way to Park County, a quick stop was made at Red Rocks Park (Jefferson). The Curve-billed Thrasher and Golden-crowned Sparrow appeared within 10 minutes. The White-throated Sparrow did not show in 15 minutes and I left.

The reservoirs in Park County were mostly ice covered. Eleven Mile Reservoir and Antero were 100 percent frozen. Spinney Mountain Reservoir was 90 percent ice covered. The State Park is closed for the season; however, one can walk in the Wildlife Area at the west end. Two cold Trumpeter Swans stood at the west end. Many ducks were in the river between Spinney Mountain Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir; however, none was uncommon.

I ended my birding day searching unsuccessfully for Spotted Owls in Fremont County.

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