Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jackson County Birds

September 28-29, 2011

Rebecca Kosten;

Bryan Ehlmann and Richard Stevens have been hiking areas around the Colorado State Forest in Jackson County. The weather has been cooperative. They are experiencing mild to calm winds and warm temperatures for autumn in the high country.

They are finding owls are really vocal. GPS waypoints have been acquired on seven Boreal Owls in the past two nights. The most successful locations have been south of the Crags Campgrounds (over 1.5 miles south) and along Michigan Ditch (over 4.5 mile hike).

Thursday afternoon, they found a Caspian Tern, Pectoral Sandpiper and many California Gulls at Walden Reservoir. A Common Loon was on Lake John Wildlife Area.

Pawnee National Grasslands Playa and Owling in High Country

September 26-27, 2011

Rebecca Kosten;

Richard Stevens and I stopped by the newly filled and named flooded field at Weld County Road 75 between County Road 100 and 102. Many shorebirds took advantage of the temporary water hole.

We saw American Golden-Plovers, Black-bellied Plovers, Pectoral Sandpipers and some other smaller shorebirds. The highlight for us was two Mountain Plovers.

Later Bryan and Sue Ehlmann met us west of Loveland (highway 34 and Larimer County Road 27). We headed up to Pennock Pass for some owling. Eventually three Flammulated Owls were found east and north of Pennock Pass' Summit!

On the way to Gould, we made four stops and heard Boreal Owls at two of them. Successful stops were the upper parking lot for the Joe Wright Reservoir and just west of Cameron Pass.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wheat Ridge Greenbelt, Jefferson County

September 25, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I decided to visit Wheat Ridge Greenbelt (Jefferson County). Once one of the top 5 birding locations in Colorado, few birds or birders have visited the Prospect Park area since our long 7-8 year drought.

Birds were few again this morning. No uncommon birds were found. Our count from Kipling Avenue to Youngfield Street was:
21 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
1 Wilson's Warbler
2 Common Nighthawks (late?)
2 Spotted Towhees
1 House Wren
2 Song Sparrows
And the usual ducks and Ring-billed Gulls.

We could not find any of the resident Eastern Screech-Owls. Several of their past "holes" were covered with cobwebs. One had a raccoon in it.

Adams & Arapahoe County Birding

September 24, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I returned to Rocky Mountain Arsenal when they opened at 6:00 am. Again, no Long-eared Owls were found flying around the Governor's row.

We hiked the south side of Lake Ladora and circled back to the northeast corner. A Virginia Rail was heard calling from the south side cattails. A Townsend's Warbler fluttered about the tall cottonwoods at the southwest corner of the lake.

A loose flock of birds moved from east to west at the edge of the trees at the northeast corner. Yesterday's Cassin's Vireo was with a Red-eyed Vireo, 9-11 Yellow-rumped Warblers (mostly Myrtle), 4 Black-capped Chickadees, and an Orange-crowned Warbler.

Yesterday's Tennessee Warbler was not found.

Another Townsend's Warbler was at the Rod & Gun Club Trailhead (perhaps the same bird seen a little farther east yesterday)? The only bird found around the bird blind was a Rock Wren.

After dropping Bryan off at home, I heard about the great birds being seen at Barr Lake (Adams) and headed over that way. I spent three hours walking around the banding area.

Few birds were encountered. Three brief unsatisfying glimpses of the male Black-throated Blue Warbler were seen at the extreme end of the point of land & trees that jut into the lake.

Several Wilson's Warblers were found, all three more or less by themselves. No flocks of birds moved about (it was 2:00 pm, not the best time of day to search for birds).

Missed birds included the Cassin's Kingbird, Philadelphia Vireo and the Tennessee Warbler.

I picked up Rebecca Kosten and drove into Denver for dinner. We passed Aurora Sports Park (Arapahoe) and could not resist stopping for a quick look around. A Sage Thrasher was on the fence at the extreme southeast corner of the park.

I made a quick hike into the woods at the northeast corner of the riparian woods. There is a grove of short trees and bushes under the tall cottonwoods, which on many occasions have attracted some uncommon birds.

The area was quite birdy again today. I counted 11 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, 2 Wilson's Warblers, 2 Wilson's Warblers and 6 Black-capped Chickadees. The prize with this flock was a Palm Warbler pumping his tail!

We stopped to watch the sunset at the west end of East 11th Avenue (off Picadilly Road). Hundreds of White-cheeked Geese flew overhead. Another Sage Thrasher was on a fence post.

This small subdivision of homes has a Eurasian Collared-Dove problem. We counted 80+ doves in the thick windbreaks around the houses.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Beautiful Fall Day at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

September 23, 2011

Richard Stevens:

I arrived at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County) when they opened and drove to the Governor's Grove. No Long-eared Owl flew around this morning. Sunrise brought a beautiful day. Winds were mild and temperatures in the cool 60s most of the morning.

A hike around the southern and northeastern ends of Lake Ladora was quite productive. A Marsh Wren chattered at the southwest corner. A Virginia Rail called from the southeastern cattails. Several flocks of warblers turned out to be Yellow-rumped Warblers.

At the northeast corner a flock of birds included Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Cassin's Vireo and Plumbeous Vireo. Many Chipping Sparrows flew about the tall grasses.

I turned back south and walked over to the Rod & Gun Club Pond. A Townsend's Warbler was in the tall trees on the north side of the trail (just before the last clearing before reaching the bird blind.

A flock of birds around the bird blind included 9 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers and a male Wilson's Warbler. No American Redstart as reported yesterday.

On the trip back to my car, I took the northern trail around Lake Ladora. Another flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers in the tall cottonwoods along the eastern side of Lake Ladora (below Lower Derby Lake's dam) was accompanied by a beautiful fall plumage Tennessee Warbler.

Many sparrows were at the northwest corner of Lake Ladora. Most were Chipping Sparrows with 4 White-crowned Sparrows and a couple of Song Sparrows.

After lunch, I drove through Cherry Creek State Park (Arapahoe County) for a last search for the possible Red Phalarope. In two hours of scoping the lake, no phalaropes were found. One juvenile Sabine's Gull was spotted.

Near sunset, Rebecca and I drove the DIA Owl Loop mostly to enjoy the fantastic fall day. No Short-eared Owls came out tonight. Two Burrowing Owls were at the prairie dog village (3.4 miles east of Tower Road & 96th avenue).

Search for the Red Phalarope, Cherry Creek State Park

September 22, 2011

Richard Stevens:

I had to checkout the possible Red Phalarope report at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County). The day was another fantastic "fall" day in Colorado. Mild winds and temperatures in the low 60s again.

It took several hours to scope the lake from the Lake Loop (no birds), eastern sand spit (Ring-billed Gulls, several Sabine's Gulls, many American White Pelicans, 8+ Great Blue Herons, 6 Snowy Egrets). No phalaropes.

Nothing seen from the northeastern boat ramp, my last try was the parking area below the dam's tower. Here we were able to see two phalaropes quite far off the shore. Eventually they flew giving us good looks at the white wingbars.

They swam closer and I could see the white transects on the back. Two Red-necked Phalaropes. The Red Phalarope was never found.

After lunch, chores "forced" me again pass through Cherry Creek State Park. Of course, I was not really "forced" :-)

This time I scoped the reservoir from the lake loop. Five phalaropes were close to shore. Unfortunately, by the time I set up my scope, I was only had good looks at four of them. As my scope hit the fifth bird, a boat came by and the phalaropes flew to the extreme southeast corner of the lake.

The fifth phalarope was much lighter than the first four. However, I am inclined to believe that all five were Red-necked Phalaropes.

A flock of warblers fluttered about the cottonwoods at the lake edge as I returned to my car. The flock included 11 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Wilson's Warblers and a Townsend's Warbler.

Prewitt Reservoir, Logan/Washington Counties

September 21, 2011

Richard Stevens:

I spent the day circling Prewitt Reservoir (Logan/Washington Counties). It was a beautiful almost fall day. Winds were mild and temperatures were in the low 60s.

The inlet area was quite birdy, however it had many mosquitoes which made standing still difficult. Highlights were a Nashville Warbler, 2 or 3 Townsend's Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Wilson's Warblers, Cassin's Vireo and a Warbling Vireo.

After several hours at the inlet, I circled the reservoir clockwise. The area below the dam was also quite birdy. Two additional Townsend's Warblers, an Ovenbird, a Nashville Warbler and 2 Cassin's Vireos were the highlights.

I thought a Great Crested Flycatcher called briefly. Too briefly, I was not able to locate the bird or even be sure I was not hearing things?

When I reached the southeast corner of the reservoir, a warbler was seen jumping in and out of the bushes. It turned out to be a nice Worm-eating Warbler!

My hike continued all the way around to the southwest corner. Shorebirds were numerous. Nice, as they have been scarce this season. The best was a Bufflehead-breasted Sandpiper. Pectoral Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers and Red-necked Phalaropes were also entertaining. Unfortunately, the Short-billed Dowitcher was not around.

On the trip back to my car, other birds seen included: 2 Sabine's Gulls and 2 Common Terns.

After a late lunch, we returned to Prewitt Reservoir. Eastern Screech-Owls responded to recording at the west end and just west of the eastern parking/camping area.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Search for Least Bittern in Morgan County

September 20, 2011

Amy Davenport; Compiled from cell phone calls from Richard Stevens:

After leaving Estes Park yesterday, we drove to Andrick Wildlife Area near Jackson Reservoir in Morgan County hoping to find the Least Bittern reported the day before.

We did not have any success and did not find the American Bittern either. After sunset, we heard the Eastern Screech-Owl at the southern Campgrounds.

This morning we returned to Andrick Wildlife Area and again missed the Least Bittern. I got no response to a Least Bittern recording. An American Bittern did respond to an American Bittern recording.

A walk around Jackson Reservoir did find a few uncommon birds. Two Townsend's Warblers were at the southern Campgrounds. A Palm Warbler with a loose flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Black-capped Chickadees, and Chipping Sparrows that flew about the cottonwoods east of the northern Campgrounds.

We saw a juvenile Sabine's Gull from the dam, south side of Jackson Reservoir. No Eastern Screech-Owls were enticed to show themselves at the Campgrounds or the southern riparian area.

At Brush Wildlife Area, we circled the outer border. A male Red-bellied Woodpecker was along the northern side. Three Yellow-rumped Warblers were the only warblers found. They were along the east side of the pond.

At Fort Morgan Ponds, we walked west to Riverside Park. A Cassin's Vireo was in the tall cottonwoods just east of Riverside Park.

The many sparrows turned out to be Chipping Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Several Red-tailed Hawks and two Swainson's Hawks were in the Wildlife Area. No Eastern Screech-Owls were found after sunset.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park

September 19, 2011

Amy Davenport; Compiled from cell phone calls from Richard Stevens:

Richard Stevens reports photographing the Prothonotary Warbler at Matthew-Reeser Bird Sanctuary, Estes Park this morning. The weather was fantastic in Estes Park today. Partly sunny skies, winds 8-10 mph.

He arrived at Estes Park at 10:30 am. Saw the bird as soon as he walked down to the footpath to Pine Point. The bird was in the trees across both fences to the north. Golf course trees. The warbler flew east and then south across the path. John Cobb relocated the warbler along Lake Estes. The bird stayed for 30 minutes along the lake where the paved path turns from east to south. It was still there when he and Rebecca departed.

Other birds reported in the area included a House Wren, 6 Orange-crowned Warblers and many Pine Siskins.

Richard Stevens and Rebecca Kosten continued east from Estes Park however want to report a few additional birds. After entering Rocky Mountain National Park winds climbed to 12+ mph. Temperatures were in the low 50s.

After finding the Prothonotary Warbler Richard and Rebecca went to medicine bow curve when Gary Weston called to say a birder from Missouri was looking for Ptarmigan.

They eventually found three White tailed Ptarmigan but no Missouri birders. Two birds were below the firs north of the extreme wet area north of the parking pullover. The third was where they saw two yesterday. The wet area below the west end of the pullover. Two British birders were shown the first two Ptarmigan.

Richard's suggestions for finding Ptarmigan at Medicine Bow Curve. Walk along the path going north from the pullover until it "ends" in about 0.5 miles. If no White-tailed Ptarmigan are found, drop down 20 yards and return to your car.

Richard has asked three different rangers in the past. It is legal to leave the main path. They prefer to not advertise that to tourists.

Today, Richard dropped down a little farther than past searches. About 30 yards, it was late in the day and several "tourists" were out looking for Elk, possibly scaring the Ptarmigan.

Another highlight at Medicine Bow Curve was a Sharp shinned Hawk flying 6 feet over the willows at 11481 feet.

No Rosy Finches were found.

On the trip back to Estes Park, they saw a Dusky Grouse above the pullover 1.7 miles west of Rainbow Curve. Several Clark's Nutcrackers were "begging for food" at the Rainbow Curve pullover.

Witness photos of the Prothonotary Warbler at:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Trip to Estes Park

September 18, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I went up to search for the Prothonotary Warbler at Matthew Reeser Bird Sanctuary this morning. We did not see it.

As a consolation, we continued into Rocky Mountain National Park and Medicine Bow Curve. A White-tailed Ptarmigan was seen below the trail (as we scoped from the pullover). Weather was not inviting and we decided to get the heck out of there (snowing).

In the late afternoon, Rebecca Kosten and I went over to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). We circled the Russian Olive grove northwest of the swim beach (the area is closed for vegetation so we could not go into it). No bird activity was observed.

A walk along the swim beach over to the picnic area near the boat ramp was more productive. We ran into a loose flock of birds, which included: 19 Yellow-rumped Warblers (all but one appeared to be Myrtle with one adult male Audubon's Warbler), 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, 1 American Redstart, 1 Townsend's Warbler, 4 Black-capped Chickadees and 27+ Chipping Sparrows.

We scoped the reservoir from the lake loop and were able to pick out the juvenile Sabine's Gull. We did not find the Red-necked Phalaropes that have been reported for several days now.

It was a beautiful fall afternoon with mild winds and cool temperatures. Much different from Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park this morning.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Eastern Plains

September 17, 2011

Bryan Ehlmann;

(Kit Carson County) The final day of our trip started with a walk around Burlington Cemetery, north of town. A Great Horned Owl called before sunrise. We would have liked an Eastern Screech-Owl but the GHOW was nice too. The definite highlight was a Pine Warbler by itself in the middle of the cemetery. It stayed pretty much up high in the middle of the evergreen trees.

Nothing much else was found around town except a few Great-tailed Grackles, traditional "hotspots" were quiet today.

Flagler Reservoir was slow. Highlights were a Hooded Warbler at the south end and a Field Sparrow at the northeast end. No Sedge Wrens or Black Rails.

(Adams County) After dropping off Sue and Rebecca, Richard and I hiked at Barr Lake State Park from mile 0.5 to 0.0 to 7.5. The walk helped to work the cramps out of our legs, too many miles sitting in a car. Winds were nil until a storm front hurried in rather speedily.

A small flock of birds at the southwest edge of the banding area included a Nashville Warbler, one Townsend's Warbler, one Orange-crowned Warbler, two Wilson's Warblers and a Yellow Warbler. Also a Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker and Hermit Thrush.

It started to rain quite a bit at 5:00 PM. We had to make an immediate exit with the lightning and downpour.

The rain had stopped to the south and we searched for owls. It's too early for the Burrowing Owls to abandon their nesting grounds. However, we found none along the DIA Owl Loop. No Short-eared Owls either.

Richard gave an interesting talk at our meeting tonight on bird migration and radar. It will be summarized in October's "Colorado Field Notes".

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bonny Lake State Park Fall Count

Instead of waiting a week for a bird trips to finish and getting reports, I will transcribe telephone reports of current bird trips. Amy Davenport

September 16, 2011

Preliminary results from the fall count at Bonny Lake State Park/Bonny Lake Wildlife Area

Birder hours 42
Weather: drizzle, temps low 50s, winds 8 mph gusts to 11 mph

Turkey Vulture (4)
Eastern Screech-Owl (5)
Long-eared Owl (2)
Common Nighthawk (7)
Sabine's Gull
Common Tern
Semipalmated Plover
Red-necked Phalarope (2)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (4)
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Chimney Swift
Bell's Vireo
Cassin's Vireo (2)
Magnolia Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
American Redstart
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Northern Cardinal

Friday, September 16, 2011

Search for Sprague's Pipits & Uncommon Sparrows

Instead of waiting a week for a bird trips to finish and getting reports, I will transcribe telephone reports of current bird trips. Amy Davenport

September 15, 2011

It rained most the night near Julesburg. Winds at 10:00 am were 19 mph with gusts to 29 mph. Fog lingered in the early morning. Rain turned to drizzle. At 4:00 pm in Wray, winds were 23 mph with gusts to 32 mph.

Bryan Ehlmann and all spent the morning searching for Sprague's Pipits at their "historical Locations". They found only one; it was southwest of Phillips County 26 and 61.

They found several flocks of sparrows at Frenchman Creek Wildlife Area. One Field Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow were among dozens of White-crowned Sparrows, Lark Sparrows, Vesper Sparrows and a few Song Sparrows.

A Cassin's Vireo was found a Holyoke City Park.

Northern Cardinals were found at two private yards in Wray in Yuma County.

Their birding day ended with a drive along Yuma County Road 45. No Greater Prairie-Chickens were found. One Short-eared Owl was a consolation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area Birding

Instead of waiting a week for a bird trips to finish and getting reports, I will transcribe telephone reports of current bird trips. Amy Davenport

September 14, 2011

Today three birders covered the southern sections of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area. Birders seldom have reported from these areas. They walked the 7.5 miles west of Logan County Road 55 and 4 miles to the east.

While, they wanted a total bird count, they hoped for a Greater Prairie-Chicken or Sharp-tailed Grouse sighting. Neither of these birds was found. They also missed Short-eared Owls today.

Weather was overcast, winds 12+ mph with gusts to 18 mph.

The morning technique was to spread out 50 yards and walk in a line from one end of the property to the other.

The highlight was three Sprague’s Pipits! All three found on the west southern section. Sprague’s Pipits have not been reported here before. However, the area is seldom covered. Richard Stevens reported having accomplished this task five times in the past fifteen years.

He has found Sharp-tailed Grouse and Greater Prairie-Chickens in the past. Two of the last four years, he has found Greater Prairie-Chickens displaying.

The late afternoon technique was to sit in chairs at three high points and scope the lowlands for gallinaceous birds and owls. Weather was not cooperative.

Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area Fall Count

Instead of waiting a week for a bird trips to finish and getting reports, I will transcribe telephone reports of current bird trips. Amy Davenport

September 13, 2011

Today, six birders covered the northern sections of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area. They walked the 6.5 miles east of Logan County Road 55 and about 1.5 miles of the west side. Jerry Petrosky reported highlight results below.

Preliminary results from the fall count at Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area, Logan
County this morning.

Winds 12 mph, gusts to 19 mph, overcast skies, temperature high 82.

Birder hours 48, six participants

Blackburnian Warbler --East
Northern Cardinal --East
Yellow-billed Cuckoo --East
Dickcissel (Ehlmann) --East
Eastern Phoebe (2) --East
Eastern Screech-Owl --East
Red-bellied Woodpecker (3) --West
Red-bellied Woodpecker (2) --East
Cassin's Kingbird
Indigo Bunting
Savannah Sparrow (2)
Grasshopper Sparrow (7)
Red-headed Woodpecker (5)
Orchard Oriole
MacGillivray's Warbler
Black-headed Grosbeak (2)
Townsend's Solitaire
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Yellow Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No Ruff or Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Jumbo Reservoir

Instead of waiting a week for a bird trips to finish and getting reports, I will transcribe telephone reports of current bird trips. Amy Davenport

September 12, 2011

Yesterday's Ruff reported by Roger Danka and the Buff-breasted Sandpiper reported by Bryan Ehlmann were not relocated this morning.? They did relocate the Pectoral Sandpiper and Semipalmated Plovers.? At Campgrounds; warblers gone, Red-eyed Vireo still there.? Winds 18 mph with gusts to 26 mph; temperature 82 degrees.

Roger states that the bird he saw was bigger than the Buff-breasted Sandpiper seen later in the day. Nevertheless, admits size can be subjective on a lone bird and a non-breeding adult Ruff and juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper can look similar.

This afternoon they relocated the Red-eyed Vireo at Jumbo's Campgrounds. A Blackpoll Warbler, Cassin's Vireo and Magnolia Warbler were at Little Jumbo's riparian area.

They called to say no sign of Ruff or Buff-breasted Sandpiper. As they watched sunset at the southern Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area a Short-eared Owl flew northwest of Logan County Roads 46 and 89.

Back in Denver, Jerry Petrosky looked for the Long-tailed Jaeger at Cherry Creek State Park on Monday. He did not find it at sunrise or sunset.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Jumbo and Little Jumbo Reservoirs

Instead of waiting a week for a bird trips to finish and getting reports, I will transcribe telephone reports of current bird trips. Amy Davenport

September 11, 2011

After getting a telephone call about a Ruff at Jumbo Reservoir in Logan/Sedgwick County, Bryan & Sue Ehlmann, Richard Stevens and Rebecca Kosten rushed up there.

The Ruff was not relocated. The description by Roger Danka was consistent for a juvenile Ruff. Returning to Jumbo, Roger and all did find a Buff-breasted Sandpiper. While the two birds may look similar, Roger is certain that the Ruff he saw was bigger than the Buff-breasted Sandpiper found later in the day.

Many shorebirds were at the southeast corner of Jumbo Reservoir. Others included a Pectoral Sandpiper, two Semipalmated Plovers, Western Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, three Least Sandpipers and Baird's Sandpipers.

Bryan found a Canada Warbler at the eastern Campgrounds. Richard found a Red-eyed Vireo. An American Redstart was along the north side of Jumbo.

At Red Lion Wildlife Area and Little Jumbo Reservoir, they found a male Blackburnian Warbler and Tennessee Warbler.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Long-tailed Jaeger at Cherry Creek Reservoir

September 10, 2011

Richard Stevens:

We did not get to outdoor chores until late afternoon. At 6:00 PM, Rebecca and I got together with Bryan & Sue Ehlmann and Jerry Petrosky at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County).

The adult Long-tailed Jaeger was harassing gulls in the west-middle of the lake. The jaeger was quite aggressive. Only two or three times in an hour, did the jaeger discontinue its onslaught and rest on the lake.

The jaeger was observed quite well from the end of the road below the dam (leading north from the southwest corner).

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Day on the Eastern Plains

September 9, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I made a day of it birding on the eastern plains. Our main goal was Last Chance Rest Stop (Washington County).

On the drive east, we stopped at the I70 Rest Stop at Bennett (Arapahoe). In past years, Northern Cardinals have sometimes been reported here; none today.

Coming out of the building, I saw three small birds, which turned out to be a male black-backed and 2 female type Lesser Goldfinches. Mountain birds on the plains got our curiosity so we circled the rest stop.

In the locust trees southeast of the building, we found a nice flock of birds. It included 7 Yellow Warblers (only 1 adult male), 2 Wilson's Warblers, a Red-eyed Vireo and a stunning Chestnut-sided Warbler!

At the extreme western corner of the property, an Olive-sided Flycatcher caught insects out of the air! Finally, as we drove out, four Black-headed Grosbeaks flew across the parking area.

Our stop at Last Chance Rest Stop (Washington) started out decent. Two American Redstarts were grabbing insects off the garbage container. Unfortunately, they were the only two warblers found in a two hour search (not many places to hide here either).

A Brown Thrasher walked along the dry creek at the north end. Two Swainson's Thrushes and an unidentified thrush (not a Swainson's and most likely not a Hermit) was in the ditch at the south end.

Other birds included 2 Blue Jays, dozens of Barn Swallows, 7 Western Wood-pewees and an Olive-sided Flycatcher.

It appeared that we were a day late for the Canada Warbler. I found one here in 1996; our target bird was the Gray-cheeked Thrush.

We continued our day with a drive south to Flagler Reservoir (Kit Carson). We enjoyed better fortune here.

A Black-and-white Warbler was along the southeastern side. While a Cassin's Vireo was observed at the northeastern corner. A Field Sparrow flew about a little farther north. A Nashville Warbler was below the dam.

Other birds observed included: Brown Thrasher, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a surprising Lazuli Bunting.

A Red-naped Sapsucker was found at Flagler City Park.

We returned to Flagler reservoir and waited until dusk hoping for a Short-eared Owl appearance or Eastern Screech-Owl; without success.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rocky Mountain Arsenal & Cherry Creek State Park

September 8, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I were at Rocky Mountain Arsenal when they opened this morning. Temperatures were in the low 60s, winds mild and skies clearing. The arsenal opened too late for Long-eared Owls to be flying around. Perhaps in another couple of weeks it will still be dark when they open?

Our first bird found was an American Redstart at the north side of Mary's Lake. Dozens of Chipping Sparrows and House Finches were along the south side of the lake.

We hiked around the south side of Lake Ladora over to the Rod & Gun Club Pond. Dozens of Chipping Sparrows and a Clay-colored Sparrow were along the south side of Ladora. We heard a Virginia Rail and Marsh Wren. Two Townsend's Warblers flew about the cottonwoods along the west side of the R&G pond.

Our return trip took us to the north side of Lake Ladora. Here a Blackpoll Warbler was with a loose flock of 9 Yellow Warblers, 2 Wilson's Warblers and 6 Black-capped Chickadees.

Afterwards, Rebecca went on to do chores and I continued to Cherry Creek Reservoir to search for yesterday's Pomarine Jaeger sighting. The jaeger was not found during my five hours of birding. Neither was the Sabine's Gull seen Monday.

A loose flock of birds at the west side of the Smoky Hill Group Picnic area included 11 Yellow Warblers (all females or first year birds), 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and a Wilson's Warbler. A vireo left unidentified was most likely a Cassin's Vireo (definitely not a Plumbeous Vireo).

I ran into another flock of birds at the willows along the lake (between the Group Picnic Area and the Picnic tables at the handicapped fisherperson's area). This flock included 9 Yellow Warblers (this time 2 adult males), 3 Orange-crowned Warblers, 6 Black-capped Chickadees and a Nashville Warbler. A Cassin's Vireo was with this flock also.

I continued around the reservoir and stopped at the Prairie Loop, Lake Loop, and southwest marina. No jaegers were found. In areas unlikely to relocate the birds, I added 2 additional Townsend's Warblers, another Cassin's Vireo and a Hermit Thrush.

My birding day ended along the DIA Owl Loop. No Short-eared Owls, three Burrowing Owls were found at the 3.4 miles east of Tower Road & 96th avenue prairie dog town.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fabulous Day at Barr Lake, Adams County

September 7, 2011

Cloudy, temperatures in the high 60s, drizzle, my favorite type of day to bird. I cannot drive because of a wrist fracture, so I arranged to be dropped off at Barr Lake (Adams County). With only a five hour time frame to bird, I could have used another two or three hours.

The morning started slow. An hour walk around the Niedrach Trail and boardwalk only found 1 Great Egret, 1 Snowy Egret and a Western Wood-pewee.

Birding picked up as I headed north toward the banding area. Almost no birds were around until I reached the southwest corner of the banding station. Here a loose flock numbered at least 125 birds. What a treat! Another 2 hours of my time limit was used inspecting the activity.

31 Wilson's Warblers
11 Yellow Warblers
14 Black-capped Chickadees
5 Orange-crowned Warblers
3 (or 4) Townsend's Warblers
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
2 Cassin's Vireos
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Dusky Flycatcher
1 Hammond's Flycatcher
2 unidentified "empidonax" flycatchers
2 Hairy Woodpeckers
3 Western Wood-pewees
52 Chipping Sparrows
1 Lincoln's Sparrow
1 Clay-colored Sparrow
5 House Wrens

This loose flock eventually moved south. I tried to look for bands on the birds. Did not see any, however I was too busy trying to count numbers and identify the many birds.

Only 2 hours left and I had to hike to the boat ramp (another 1.2 miles north). Another Townsend's Warbler was found just south of the Pioneer Trail. Sixty one Chipping Sparrows and a Clay-colored Sparrow were counted on the way to the Pioneer Trail.

To save time, I walked down the Pioneer Trail with the intention of cutting between the lake and the isolated pond cut off from the lake proper.

Two Osprey both with a fish stood on the "Osprey" nesting platform. I do not believe that they successfully nested this summer and was surprised to see them here this late in the year.

Trying not to disturb them, I circled through the willows to the south (just north of the cut off pond). It was a fortunate choice! A second large flock of birds was encountered in the surrounding willows.

13 Wilson's Warblers
9 Yellow Warblers
14 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Orange-crowned Warblers
2 Townsend's Warblers
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Cassin's Vireo
21 Chipping Sparrows
2 Downy Woodpeckers
2 House Wrens
2 non-adult Bald Eagles
3 Swainson's Hawks
11 Western Wood-pewees (appeared to be a family. Many young with four quite vocal adults. I realize that a pair or two would not have had that many offspring; still they stuck close together, as they moved north. The loose flock moved mostly north also).

It has been awhile since Barr Lake was so entertaining. I barely kept my ride waiting, could have used more time. Surely a few additional uncommon birds were out there!

Surprising misses: not one Thrush or Oriole (especially missing thrushes) was encountered

September 7, 2011

Bryan Ehlmann and all enjoyed a good day also on their trip to Mt. Evans. They found 2 White-tailed Ptarmigan east of the Summit Lake parking area. Two Brown-capped Rosy Finches were found at the northwest corner of Summit Lake.

Later, they relocated the Rufous collared Sparrow (origin unknown) at Rose and 8th Streets in Georgetown. Great time guys!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sabine's Gull at Cherry Creek State Park

September 5, 2011

Rebecca Kosten:

Bryan & Sue Ehlmann, Richard Stevens and I drove through Cherry Creek State Park on our way to purchase some new computers at nearby Micro Center.

The Sabine's Gull was swimming in the very southwest corner of the reservoir. It was just about the only place that the many many boats and jet skis could not go. We could not believe the number of people out there today. Maybe a record? Thanks to Cheryl Teuton for reporting the Gull!

After it cooled down around 6:30 PM, we drove the DIA Owl Loop in search of owls. Three Burrowing Owls were at 3.4 miles east of Tower Road and 96th avenue. They all looked like juveniles................waiting for parents to bring back food?

No Short-eared Owls flew around tonight. Beautiful sunset and cool evening!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Search for Yesterday's Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Castle Rock

September 3, 2011

Rebecca Kosten:

Richard Stevens, Ray Simmons and Bryan Ehlmann looked for the Scissor tailed Flycatcher that Richard and Rebecca had found yesterday along I25 south of Castle Rock. It was not found within 10 miles of town.

Maybe the huge thunderstorm that went through the area late yesterday afternoon forced the flycatcher to move? Richard and Rebecca experienced 21+ mph winds and a tremendous downpour at Castle Rock around 6:00 PM yesterday.

They went by Winkler/Jones Ranch south of Castlewood Canyon State Park. Western and Mountain Bluebirds along Castlewood Road. A Savannah Sparrow south of ranch entrance. Many Vesper Sparrows and Chipping Sparrows were also found.

No Bobolink or Turkey Vultures, lack of vultures surprised them a little.

Search for Palmer Lake White-eyed Vireo

September 2, 2011

Rebecca Kosten:

Rich had his wrist bandaged, then wrapped in two ace bandages and in a sling but still tried for the Douglas County White eyed Vireo; without success.

We did find two Plumbeous Vireos along the creek side trail, Walnut Road and Glen Park to Spring Road, Palmer Lake. Also found were 2 Black-headed Grosbeaks, 3 Spotted Towhees, 17 Broad-tailed Hummingbirds (including two displaying adult males) and 2 American Goldfinches.

The day was not a loss. A Scissor tailed Flycatcher was on telephone wires next to the first pole north mile marker 180, hwy 25. The flycatcher hung on to the wire in the 14 mph winds. We stopped to take a photo, but a Colorado State Patrolman also stopped and told us to move.

A Yellow billed Cuckoo was found at Hidden Valley Open Space. Take main trail going west from parking lot, turn south at Cherry Creek. Several Wilson's Warblers and a Yellow Warbler were in the willows below the Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

CoBus Trip to Mt. Evans, Clear Creek County

August 31, 2011

Compiled by Rebecca Kosten:

Bryan Ehlmann led the CoBus trip to Mt Evans. Thanks for replacing Richard Stevens as leader. Richard fractured his wrist during an owling trip in Rocky Mountain National Park last Friday.

Bryan's first stop was Summit Lake. They scoped the southeast hillside without finding any White-tailed Ptarmigan. The northwest corner of Summit Lake was more accommodating. Three Brown-capped Rosy Finches flew around the rocky hillside. They even dropped down for a drink of water at the edge of the lake.

Next, they spread out in a line and searched for Ptarmigan in the field on the east side of Mt Evans Road. Two White-tailed Ptarmigan were found 300-400 yards northeast of the Summit Lake parking lot.

A trip to the top of Mt Evans did not find additional ptarmigan. The fantastic view was enjoyed by all. American Pipits and a few Mountain Bluebirds flew around. Mountain goats walked the rocky cliffs.

It will not be long before Mt Evans Road is closed for the season. Take it from me; having to hike up to Summit Lake from Echo Lake can be very tiring. So, if you are looking to add these birds to your 2011 list, visit soon!

They missed American Three-toed Woodpeckers at the Echo Lake Campgrounds. Lincoln's Sparrows were seen coming out of the willows on the east side of the lake. A big lifebird miss for the birders was Green-tailed Towhees. The towhees nest in the willows at the northwest corner. Have they left for the year already?

The hummingbird feeders on the Echo Lodge were visited by many hummingbirds. Most were female and young Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. At least one adult male Broad-tailed Hummingbird and two Rufous Hummingbirds were seen.

On the return trip to Denver, the group stopped at Genesee Mountain Park. A male Williamson's Sapsucker flew around the pine trees at 25 yards below the top of the park. Three species of nuthatches, many Pine Siskins and a small flock of Red Crossbills were added to their trip list.

Their final stop was Red Rocks Park. Not many birds were around. They found the resident Western Scrub-Jays. A Lazuli Bunting was near the stairs up to the amphitheater.

Northeastern Colorado

August 28-30, 2011

Compiled by Rebecca Kosten:

On 8/29, Jerry Petrosky reported that migration has started in the northeastern corner of Colorado. Some of the migrating birds he found at Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area on 8/29 included: Cassin's Vireo, Great Crested Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, five American Redstarts, a Tennessee Warbler, Townsend's Warbler and Magnolia Warbler.

Jerry also relocated some summer birds, which included: 2+ Bell's Vireos, 2 Baltimore Orioles, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 5 Red-bellied Woodpeckers, 24+ Red-headed Woodpeckers, a Short-eared Owl and 2 Eastern Screech-Owls.

Just to the east, Jerry explored Red Lion Wildlife Area and Little Jumbo Reservoir. Here he relocated three Bell's Vireos and two Upland Sandpipers. Migrating birds included an Eastern Phoebe, two American Redstarts and a Black-and-white Warbler.

The day before, 8/28, Jerry wandered around Sterling, Colorado. He visited several of the parks in town. A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was relocated at Overland Trail Park.

This park located in the southwest end of Sterling has been known for nesting Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos. Jerry did not find any Black-billed Cuckoos. It has been a couple of years since Black-billed Cuckoos have been spotted along this section of the South Platte River.

Mississippi Kites were found at Columbine Park and also nearby Cheairs Park. Jerry's next stop was Pioneer Park on the northwest side of Sterling. Here Jerry came across a migrating Townsend's Warbler and two American Redstarts.

Jerry ended his day at the south side sections of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area. He saw a Short-eared Owl flying along the valley north of Logan County Road 46 and County Road 89.

After dark, Jerry heard two Eastern Screech-Owls back at sections 6-7 of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area East.

On his trip back to Denver on 8/30, Jerry stopped at North Sterling Reservoir on. He was able to relocate the Barn Owls reported on Sunday by Bill Kaempfer. This was after Jerry saw a Short-eared Owl flying along the outlet canal just before civil twilight!

In the wooded picnic area, Jerry found a male Baltimore Oriole, Great Crested Flycatcher, Black-and-white Warbler and American Redstart. Two Common Terns flew below the dam.

Jerry's final uncommon bird sightings were two Dickcissels along Logan County Road 46, just west of County Road 37.

Sounds like a great trip! Thanks Jerry for the report!