Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trip from Burlington to Colorado Springs and On!

November 25, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Five of us listened for owls about an hour before sunrise at Hale Ponds (Yuma County). Only one Eastern Screech-Owl called this morning.

After sunrise, we searched for Long-eared Owls at the evergreen windbreak east of Foster's Grove. None was found today; however, as a consolation, we found a Pine Warbler! It fluttered in and out of the thick fir trees.

We received a text about a possible Streak backed Oriole at Fountain Creek Regional Park in Colorado Springs (El Paso). I decided to rush down there and report.

While it was 55 degrees with calm winds north of Burlington, I arrived at the southern end of Fountain Creek Regional Park in the rain. Fortunately, the northern end of this long park was partly cloudy and rain-less.

Eventually, I walked from the Visitor's Center to the north end of the park, to the south end and back without finding any orioles. At least 20 other birders also failed to find the bird. I called back to Bonny Reservoir and suggested not to waste the trip down to Colorado Springs.

Meanwhile, Bryan Ehlmann and all had found 2 Long-eared Owls, one each on either side of the lake.

After the several hours of my hike, I drove around to the west side of Fountain Creek, which borders the west side of the park and stopped at the KOA Campgrounds. The Campgrounds were almost directly across from the spot where the Oriole was reported.

I walked around for an hour, inquiring about any "orange bird" sightings and handing out my CoBus business card. No Oriole, however a few new bird-reporting contacts were made.

My birding day ended along the road to the Crags Campgrounds in Teller County. Two Northern Pygmy-Owls were found around the old scout camp. A third was heard at the Campgrounds.

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