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!

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