Friday, December 3, 2010

Nice Afternoon at Barr Lake

December 2, 2010

Richard Stevens:

Tired of counting geese at Lakecrest and Emerald Strand Park, Rebecca and I skipped the area today. It was another fine winter day with temperatures in the high 50s and mild winds. Instead, we enjoyed the afternoon with a hike around Barr Lake (Adams County).

The Harris's Sparrow stayed in the bushes 25 yards west of the Visitor's Center. We wondered for 30 minutes why no birds were visiting the feeders west of the building. When a couple of House Sparrows flew over, the reason became apparent.

First, a Merlin flew by and landed in the tall tree at the northwest corner of the building. Then a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk buzzed both the close bushes and then circled the taller bushes 25 yards west (twice). When we left, an adult Red-tailed Hawk was observed on the roof of the building. It was not a good day for songbirds to be flying around the park.

We hiked down to the banding station area and back. Again, few birds were found. The previously reported Swamp Sparrow was among the missing. Two Red-tailed Hawks and a Rough-legged Hawk watched us from their perches in the taller cottonwoods.

I scoped the lake from the boat ramp. Hundreds of ducks and geese were north of the closed ramp. A pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes remains as well as one Common Loon. A few Ross's Geese were quite a distance from us.

Only four Great-tailed Grackles were observed around the Picadilly Tree Nursery feedlot today.

Our birding day ended with a drive around the DIA Owl Loop. No Short-eared Owls were found. No Snow Buntings or Lapland Longspurs came across our path.

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