Friday, February 11, 2011

Birding Around Denver

February 11, 2011

Richard Stevens:

I planned to search for some recent birds reported around Denver today. Winds were calm; temperature at noon was only 28 degrees.

Around sunrise (6:58 am, well they did not open until 7:00 am) I watched the feeders north of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Visitor's Center (Adams County). Within ten minutes, the Harris's Sparrow visited below and behind the eastern feeder. It never went underneath the feeder where many Dark-eyed Juncos kicked for food.

In the morning, I hiked the South Platte River from 88th avenue down to Interstate 270, Adams County (east side south and west side back north). A male and two female Barrow's Goldeneyes were on the Platte River just upstream (south) of the green/white tower.

A Northern Shrike hunted around the south end of Tani Reservoir. Another was at the northeast corner of Engineer Lake. Other interesting birds included a Golden Eagle (uncommon here), an adult Bald Eagle, a Peregrine Falcon and a Prairie Falcon. They made the long hike quite interesting.

I did not run into many gulls until I reached the Water Treatment Plant south of I270. Unfortunately, no uncommon gulls were found among 300+ Ring-billed Gulls.

While walking both directions I scoped the eastern shore diligently. The Dunlin that has been around for weeks was not found. Surprisingly, no Killdeer were found either. Usually a few are seen during this hike.

Back at the northern West Gravel Lake, the Long-tailed Duck was among a loose group of Common Goldeneyes.

After lunch, I search unsuccessfully for Eastern Screech-Owls around Denver City Park and the neighborhood to the east. Several have been reported calling during dusk along Montview from Colorado Blvd to Monaco.

My birding day ended back along the South Platte River, this time at Florida Avenue (just north of Overland Pond Park, Denver County). My second Long-tailed Duck of the day was perhaps 40 yards north of Florida Avenue.

An American Dipper flew from underneath the Florida Avenue bridge to the footbridge downstream.

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