Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fantastic Day Birding Around Denver

December 9, 2011

Richard Stevens:

At 7:30 am, I visited Becky Campbell's home near Cherry Creek Reservoir. After the fog lifted, the Pine Warbler flew to her suet feeder about every 15-20 minutes. At other times, it was foraging in the nearby pines. Once it spent 10 minutes drinking and foraging in the neighbor's gutter.

Cherry Creek Reservoir was mostly ice and snow covered. Thousands of White-cheeked Geese (no uncommon geese) were on the ice. Hooded Mergansers were swimming in the small open water area around the marina. A lone American White Pelican stood on the marina.

I drove over to Denver City Park. The Long-tailed Duck was standing on the ice on the backside (south side) of Duck Lake. Two Double-crested Cormorants were still around.

My next stop was Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas). The two Brants were walking along Plum Creek where it empties into the lake. After photographing the geese, I walked Plum Creek from the reservoir to the footbridge to the south; no Rusty Blackbirds were found.

Although it was only 41 degrees, I enjoyed sitting on the bench at the parking area above the dam. There was no wind and the sun was out; it was quite comfortable. Hundreds of ducks swam below.

A Common Loon was constantly diving off Massey Draw. A 1st/2nd year Glaucous Gull was among them many Ring-billed Gulls.

I turned my scope to the north and watched the South Platte Park Reservoir (north of C470). A dark bird chased the gulls around this newest reservoir. It was most likely the Pomarine Jaeger that spent weeks at Chatfield Reservoir.

My birding day ended at Red Rocks Park (Jefferson). In the waning light, the Golden-crowned Sparrow appeared below the platform feeder behind the Trading Post.

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