Sunday, January 2, 2011

First Day of Birding 2011

January 1, 2011

Richard Stevens:

I enjoyed a great first day of the year birding in spite of a start with low single digit temperatures. My big miss was a Snow Bunting along the DIA Owl Loop. Perhaps tomorrow on that one?

I started the day with a sighting of a Varied Thrush at a private home in Brighton. What is with all the Varied Thrushes this season? Bryan Ehlmann and I ended with five Varied Thrush sightings in December! Probably could get four in January if I wanted to drive I76 northeast.

Next, I hiked the S. Platte River from 88th Avenue to I225 and back. Second miss, no Long-tailed Ducks were found, however the pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes was south of the green/white tower. Both a Prairie Falcon and Peregrine Falcon flew down the Platte River! A Northern Shrike was on the western fence of Tani Reservoir.

Next stop was Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas) for the Glaucous Gull. While watching it from above the dam, the Red-necked Grebe was also observed below. No Lesser Black-backed Gull at the southeast marina, but the Thayer's Gull was there.

On the way home, I stopped at Red Rocks Park (Jefferson). The big four, Golden-crowned, 2 White-throated, and Harris's Sparrows and Curve-billed Thrashers visited behind the Trading Post several times. Finally, a flock of 90-110 Rosy Finches flew in, late afternoon. At least 3 Black Rosy Finches, at least 3 Brown-capped Rosy Finches and many Gray-crowned Rosy Finches including Hepburn's stayed for quite awhile.

I forgot that the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was closed today. I pass by it on the way home anyway, so it was not that much of a detour. Great-tailed Grackles were again at the Picadilly Tree Nursery feedlot. I ended my day with another drive around the DIA Owl Loop; no Snow Bunting.

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