Monday, November 7, 2011

Search for Owls and Grouse

November 6, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann, John Westin and I searched for owls overnight. No Flammulated Owls were encountered in a three hour search on Pennock Pass (Larimer County). My late date for Flammulated Owls on Pennock Pass is 10/19. Late date for anywhere else in Colorado is 10/5.

We found only one Boreal Owl. It was along highway 14, just west of Cameron Pass (Jackson). Winds were quite strong 12+ mph. None was found at Ruby Jewell Road in the Colorado State Forest.

At civil twilight, we drove Jackson County Road 26 and 26B (circling back to Coalmont). Two Greater Sage-Grouse were along CR 26, just north of the CR 26B turnoff.

Later we visited a friend who had 3 Greater Sage-Grouse coming under his feeders in Steamboat Springs (Routt). Four Sharp-tailed Grouse were also found in Steamboat Springs.

After a few hours of sleep, we searched for Bohemian Waxwings in Steamboat Springs (without success).

The Tundra Swan was still on a half frozen Lake Catamount. Bohemian Waxwings sometimes winter in the trees where the road crosses the river; however, none today.

Our journey then turned back toward Fort Collins. We enjoyed a great stop at the maintenance shed road on Rabbit Ears Pass (Grand). A female American Three-toed Woodpecker was on one of the telephone poles on the south side of the road.

While watching her, two White-winged Crossbills circled overhead, and then disappeared in the trees to the north!

A lone Brown-capped Rosy Finch stopped by the feeders at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center. Pine Siskins, Mountain Chickadees, a male Pine Grosbeak, and Steller's Jays were also there.

After dark, we searched the Colorado State Forest (Ruby Jewell Road) for Boreal Owls. Winds were once again quite strong (it makes hearing the quiet calling owls difficult).

We eventually found a Boreal Owl along Highway 14 at four miles west of Cameron Pass (Jackson). Another was about 0.1 miles east of the Summit (Larimer). None called at the Joe Wright Reservoir parking areas.

We detoured back to Denver by way of Pennock Pass. No Flammulated Owls found; it does not look like my late date can be broken this year. I would not recommend driving Pennock Pass without a 4 wheel drive vehicle. The road was quite muddy.

No comments: