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).

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