Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jefferson and Arapahoe County Birding

May 1, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Kathy Boxman and I birded Reynolds Park (Jefferson County). First, we listened for Common Poorwill at the western end of the west parking area. None called this morning.

Then we made the loop Elkhorn Trail to Raven's Roost Trail to Oxen Draw Trail back to the parking area. It was quite birdy this morning.

A male Williamson's Sapsucker was observed along the Raven's Roost Trail at 200 yards south of the old Service Road. 200 yards farther south we saw a Dusky Grouse walk across the trail.

Continuing south, we found 3 species of nuthatches, Pine Siskins, six Red Crossbills, Townsend's Solitaires, Mountain Chickadees and plenty of American Crows and Common Ravens.

On the way back down the Oxen Draw Trail, a female American Three-toed Woodpecker was seen about 25 yards south of the intersection of the three trails (Eagle's View, Raven's Roost & Oxen Draw).

A quick stop at Red Rocks Park found the Curve-billed Thrasher, Golden-crowned Sparrow and 2 White-throated Sparrows. We did not hang around long and missed the Harris's Sparrow.

After dropping Kathy off, I decided to drive over to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County). It was still quite cold (temperatures in the low 50s, winds 5-8 mph). Mostly, I was enjoying standing around the bird observation platform at the Prairie Loop and not being in snow.

For the past two days, we have been driving around in semi-blizzards searching for grouse and owls. On two trips over Cameron Pass (Jackson/Larimer) we barely could see the front of the car. That was the fifth time in two weeks where there were heavy snowstorms over the pass.

At Cherry Creek Reservoir, I not only enjoyed the lack of snow, but shorebirds were quite numerous. I counted: at least 17 Marbled Godwit, 69 Willets, 1 Whimbrel, 49 American Avocets, 2 Long-billed Dowitchers and 6 Snowy Plovers! Off in the distant east, a pair of Clark's Grebes swam near the shore.

Eight or so Bonaparte's Gulls were around the southwest marina. I did not see the Neotropic Cormorant.

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