Thursday, November 24, 2011

Return to Barr Lake to Identify Some Swans

November 21, 2011

Richard Stevens:

After hearing that 7 swans were now at Barr Lake (Adams County) I returned in the afternoon. I chose to scope the lake from the north side hoping that would provide better looks to any birds in the middle to western sections of the reservoir.

From Mile Marker 4.5, I could see 7 swans far off in the distance. The Pacific Loon was in the bay around mile 5.0.

Sixty Great-tailed Grackles flew around the Town of Barr (the only access to the northwest end of the lake).

From inside the State Park (mile 7.6) at the boat ramp, I could see 2 Common Loons and the swans, which were still quite far away. They were closer when I scoped from the Niedrach Trail, however still quite a distance.

I circled around the outside of the park to the intersection of Tower Road and 128th Avenue. There is a pullover here and a sliver of land, which allows access to the park (only when there is no water in the canal).

When I dropped down into the canal, several sparrows caught my eye. There turned out to be 4+ White-crowned Sparrows and 2 Song Sparrow. While trying to identify them, a wren came out of the tall grasses at the base of the canal.

This wren was small and had a short tail. I played a Pacific Wren recording, but observed no response. When a Winter Wren recording was played, the small wren came out of the grasses. It was a Winter Wren!

I continued into the park and walked out on the Eagle Watch Boardwalk. The swans were closer however still quite a distance from me. I studied them for 45 minutes (hoping they would swim closer, however, while they swam around, they did not close the distance).

They turned out to be 7 Trumpeter Swans!

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