Thursday, November 25, 2010

Search for owls in Larimer County, Return to Cherry Creek Reservoir

November 24, 2010

Richard Stevens:

Wednesday I took my four birding friends to Larimer County. Our first stop was Lee Martinez Park in Fort Collins. It only took 15 minutes before an Eastern Screech-Owl was enticed to come out of his hole and see what our recording was all about!

On the second pass through Rist Canyon, we finally found a Northern Pygmy-Owl. It was on the south side of the road in the thin woods west of Whale Rock. Sort of the same location as past years and probably the one that Tom and Mary France photographed a while back.

We ran out of time to look for Lapland Longspurs on the Pawnee National Grasslands and I took them to DIA (Denver International Airport; seems that many people have written me about what DIA means; as in DIA Owl Loop).

We stopped briefly at Barr Lake (Adams County) and saw the Harris's Sparrow behind the Visitor's Center. Thousands of White-cheeked Geese, Canada Geese & Cackling Geese, Snow Geese and a couple of Ross's Geese were off the boat ramp.

I ended my birding day at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). I arrived late but did see the Ross's Gull for the fifth straight day! I hurried around to the swim beach to scope for gulls; this was 5:00 pm. It was getting dark. I could see a couple of Bonaparte's Gulls but most gulls were still flying around in the center of the lake. At 5:07 pm, a Trumpeter Swan landed west of the swim beach!

After dark, I again walked from the Lake Loop to Cottonwood Creek Loop. No Long-eared Owl this evening. A Great Horned Owl again called from the Campgrounds.

I am headed over there now (Thursday morning) to see if the Trumpeter Swan is still around and if any Short-eared Owls will be flying around this morning. I was telling another birder a few days ago, that 7 of the 13 swans that I have seen at Cherry Creek Reservoir have come in after sunset. Now its 8 of 14! It pays to stay and watch the sunset and silhouettes of birds swimming around!

No comments: