Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dunlin on the South Platte River, Adams County

January 8, 2011

Richard Stevens:

I arrived at the South Platte River at 88th avenue and Colorado Blvd (Adams County) at 7:10 am. Sunrise was 7:22 am. I wanted to walk south down to 74th avenue so that on the return trip, the sun was at my back. It was another winter day in Colorado, although colder than yesterday.

The Dunlin reported yesterday by John Robinette was on the rocky shore east of the Platte River and just south of the green/white tower (the tower is about 1/2 mile south of 88th avenue). A couple of Killdeer were on the same "rocky beach". A pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes was among dozens of ducks in the same area.

Continuing north, a second pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes was below the green/white tower.
Farther North, 250+ gulls stood on another "rocky beach" (just north of the waterfalls). I scoped this group of mostly Ring-billed Gulls and found an adult Mew Gull and one Herring Gull.

Quite a few American Pipits were on the fence and small trees below the Northern West Gravel Lake.

My plan was to head up to Boulder and go on the trip through Valmont Reservoir. While packing up my stuff I met a birder from California We returned and got additional looks at the Barrow's Goldeneyes and Dunlin.

He wanted to see a Long-eared Owl, so we headed northeast up Interstate 76 to Jackson Reservoir (Morgan County). They are somewhat easy to find around the western Campgrounds.

Next, we drove north on Morgan County Road 4 (turns into Weld County Road 105). Not far into Weld County, we found a flock of 200+ Horned Larks. At least four Lapland Longspurs were among them.

On the return trip to Jackson Reservoir, we stopped at Brush Wildlife Area. A male Red-bellied Woodpecker was relocated west of the pond.

Near dusk, we stood back at the northwestern Campgrounds and scoped the fields to the north. No Short-eared Owls show up this evening. A pair of Great Horned Owls did call however. Back at the Southern Campgrounds, we enticed an Eastern Screech-Owl to respond to our recordings!

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