Saturday, March 19, 2011

Return to Boulder County For Owling

March 18 to 19, 2011

Richard Stevens and I have reversed our internal clocks this week, sleeping from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM or so. We continued with that theme and returned to Boulder County tonight. Our main target bird was a Flammulated Owl. None was found as our unfortunate luck continued.

The night was surreal. Winds were calm, we could have heard a pin drop all night. The full moon lit up the trails; flashlights were not really needed.

We hiked up four of the draws where Flammulated Owls were found in the studies conducted in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These included Long Canyon, Walker Ranch, Woods Gulch and Meyers Gulch.

Richard set up "listening stations" near trailheads and we would hike up the canyons. Long Canyon (0.6 miles), Walker Ranch (0.4 miles), Woods Gulch (0.8 miles) and Meyers Gulch (0.9 miles). Between stops, we played the recordings from the "listening stations", all of which came up negative tonight.

With daylight only a few hours away, we continued to Gross Reservoir. A Northern Saw-whet Owl was picked up on a "listening station" at the northeast corner of Gross.

We set up two stations at the southeast corner of Gross Reservoir and then walked back north uphill. A Northern Pygmy-Owl was found on our own about 0.6 miles north of the ranger's home. Another Northern Pygmy-Owl was picked up on our recordings!

Before sunrise, we looked around White Ranch Open Space where previous Northern Pygmy-Owls have nested. None was located this morning.

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