Monday, July 11, 2011

Trip To Northeastern Colorado

July 10, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Roger Danka and I sat on a hill overlooking the southern sections of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan) about an hour before sunrise. After a stormy night, the early morning was calm; a crisp clear smell was in the air.

We enjoyed the serene nature of the scene. Unfortunately, no Short-eared Owls appeared this morning. We scoped the hillside and valley below us; no Greater Prairie-Chickens walked around in our view.

After dropping Roger off, I briefly circled Sedgwick County this morning. A couple of Cassin's Sparrows were found along CR 61 & 32. Two Dickcissels were seen along CR 32.

In Phillips County, a Mountain Plover was wandering the field near County Road 61 and CR 26. Holyoke Fishing Unit added a singing Bell's Vireo to my trip list. I missed the Marbled Godwit at County Road 2, west of highway 287. A Snowy Plover was there as a consolation prize.

I continued south to Wray to say "Hi" to a couple of friends. Northern Cardinals were found at two yards. The pair of Fox Sparrows that spent the spring at private yard # 1 disappeared about a week ago.

Another male Northern Cardinal was observed in the windbreak at the Wray Fishing Unit. No uncommon sparrows appeared at Sandsage Wildlife Area.

From Wray I turned west and stopped at Brush Wildlife Area (Morgan). I relocated the male Red-bellied Woodpecker but struck out on the Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Eastern Screech-Owl (not the best time of day to search for that one).

Dropping down south, I gave Last Chance Rest Stop (Washington) an opportunity to provide some interesting birds. Regrettably, it was quiet; there were only a Western Wood-pewee and a Brown Thrasher moving about.

I continued south to Limon, which has never been a great birding place for me. Perhaps I just do not know where to search.

The Crested Caracara had not been seen in a couple of days, so I scratched the idea to head down to John Martin Reservoir and instead drove back east to Flagler Reservoir (Kit Carson).

I wandered around for about 2 hours, not really seeing many birds. Finally, I did get a Yellow-billed Cuckoo to respond to my recordings! At least something to write about! No Short-eared Owls came out at dusk and my journey turned toward home.

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