Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wandering Around Denver

January 26, 2011

Richard Stevens:

We drove over to Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County) to see if the Harris's Sparrows reported yesterday would make another appearance. It was a beautiful winter day with temperatures in the 50s and calm winds.

Don Beltz was watching the Rocky Mountain Arsenal feeders when we arrived. The Harris's Sparrow never were seen by us although little time was spent keeping an eye on the feeders.

Instead, we all went on the Wednesday Rocky Mountain Arsenal tour. While few birds can be expected in January, we were treated to many raptor sightings. Over a dozen Ferruginous Hawks were observed, some quite close to the road.

Half a dozen Bald Eagles, a Prairie Falcon, American Kestrels, a Rough-legged Hawk and several Red-tailed Hawks were also found.

Lower Derby Lake had many White-cheeked Geese and gulls (mostly if not all Ring-billed Gulls).

A Northern Shrike was a nice highlight and the final bird seen on our tour. The new bus with comfortable seats and wide windows made the 2 hour tour quite enjoyable.

We (sans Don) not wanting to go home, headed west to Red Rocks Park (Jefferson). When we arrived, the Curve-billed Thrasher and Harris's Sparrow were in the bushes next to the trading post feeder.

There was little birdseed and I walked over to spread some out. The birds perhaps are becoming too tame, as they did not move from the close bushes. As soon as the seed was spread, they came down to eat (I was still next to them, unfortunately without my camera).

We ended our birding day walking the streets in Golden (especially near Ford Street and 16th Street. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been found in past years in this neighborhood. Unfortunately, we could not find any today. Still what a great winter day to walk around outside!

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