Sunday, December 11, 2011

Search for Snowy Owl in Yuma County, Gyrfalcon!

December 1, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I were avoiding heading back to Denver. It had received perhaps 6 inches of snow recently.

We wandered up Yuma County Road 45 at civil twilight. Greater Prairie-Chickens search for food in the corn stubble fields. This morning was no exception. Two or three Greater Prairie-Chickens were found. For those attempting the same, be sure to stay on public roads. Landowner Bob Bledsoe does not favor birders who trespass on his land.

The highlight of the morning and day was a light phase Gyrfalcon along CR 45. It flew over us where CR 45 turns from east to south (Road name changes to Yuma County Road PP).

The course of our trip was changed when we received a call from a rancher/friend northwest of Arvin. His neighbor had seen a Snowy Owl on Tuesday and today.

We would spend much time in the next couple of days in search of the White Owl! While visiting the Snowy Owl finder, he gave us two photos of his discovery. It was a great prize for a part time/new birder!

The rest of our day was spent searching Yuma County for the Snowy Owl. Regrettably, it was never found.

Two stops to say "Hi" to friends in Wray, added an eastern Fox Sparrow and 4 Northern Cardinals to our trip list.

Of course, the other highlight was missing the heavy snow in Denver; the plains only received a dusting in most areas.

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