Thursday, November 3, 2011

Birding Denver After a Snowstorm

November 2, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I drove into the snowstorm in search of Murrelets Tuesday morning. Early November snowstorms seemed to be when they show up in Colorado. We found none at Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas County) or Bear Creek Lake Park (Jefferson).

We saw two Common Loons on Chatfield Reservoir during our first visit. After searching unsuccessfully for Northern Pygmy-Owls up Deer Creek Canyon (Jefferson) we returned to Chatfield Reservoir where we counted three Common Loons and saw the Mew Gull!

Nearby Platte Reservoir and McLellan Reservoir did not have any uncommon birds. We found two Common Loons and a Pacific Loon at Marston Reservoir. Again, nothing uncommon was found on nearby Bowles Lake & Bowles Reservoir #1.

We stopped at the S. Platte River at Florida Avenue (Barrow's Goldeneyes and Long-tailed Ducks seen here the last couple of years), however found no uncommon birds.

In the afternoon, we hiked the South Platte River from 88th avenue to hwy 224 and back. A male Barrow's Goldeneye was on the Platte River below the green and white tower. A pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes was on Tani Reservoir (southeast of the tower).

The wintering birds along the S. Platte are easier to find once the nearby lakes have frozen. We were looking for "early dates" on several species (which did not happen, no scoters or Long-tailed Ducks today; early date for Barrow's Goldeneyes in the area is 10/30).

We watched Barr Lake (Adams) at sunset. The Common Loon was still at the 4.5 mile marker. After sunset, a swan flew in, however landed too far away for us to identify. Several Great-tailed Grackles were still around the Picadilly Tree Nursery (at 152nd avenue & Picadilly Road, northeast of Barr Lake).

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