Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Look at the Arapahoe County Snowy Owl

December 30, 2011

Richard Stevens: Email sent to "cobirders":

This afternoon we went by Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe County) on our way to dinner. With a little research, I was able to find out who owned the land south of Aurora Reservoir and acquired permission to search it for the Snowy Owl.

The Snowy Owl is still within 1.5 miles of Aurora Reservoir. It was on private land and not accessible to the public. However, it might return to the Reservoir.

I also found a birder who watched the Snowy Owl after sunset (until dark) on 12/28 on the roof of a house at the northeast corner of the Lake Shore development. It was observed quite late in the day flying along the south side of Aurora Reservoir on 12/29.

Due to recent events involving trespassing and approaching the Snowy Owl a little too close, further details will not be provided.

For those wanting to see the Snowy Owl, scopes and binoculars can be utilized to see quite far. I suggest watching from the many open spaces along the south side of the Reservoir.

I had intended this afternoon to watch the Reservoir from the public roads on the south side of the Reservoir. However, while waiting for sunset (the most likely time for the owl to return) three birders (they had scopes and binoculars) stood within 10 yards of the two buildings that I hope the Snowy Owl would return to and roost. We departed and searched the fields around DADS (Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site) and the Buckley Air Force Base for Snowy or Short-eared Owls; without finding any.

Earlier today, Bryan Ehlmann and I observed several hundred Rosy Finches (3 species, although only a couple of Black Rosy Finches) coming to the feeders at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center.

The rest of our three day trek will be posted on the "Bird Trip Reports" link on Colorado Birding Society's website before I retire tonight.

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