Monday, December 19, 2011

Wray Christmas Count

December 17, 2011

Richard Stevens:

Today, eight of us conducted the Wray Christmas Count. Total numbers and count will be published in "Colorado Field Notes".

Highlights were many on this beautiful winter day in Colorado.

Before sunrise, all of us drove Yuma County Road 45, east of Highway 385. Two Greater Prairie-Chickens (one walking, another a flyover) were just east of the intersection.

Sparrows were the most numerous at Sandsage Wildlife Area. A late Swamp Sparrow, Harris's Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow were found. We returned to the Wildlife Area after dark and received a response to our recordings from an Eastern Screech-Owl!

Wray Fishing Unit had few birds. However, the two found were nice sightings. A Northern Cardinal and Barn Owl flew out of the windbreak along the entrance road.

Stalker Ponds provided the best surprise. A Golden-crowned Sparrow was a rare sighting for Yuma County (however, not a first). Again, sparrows were the most numerous birds. Another Harris's Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and 2 Field Sparrows topped the list (Song, White-crowned and a Lincoln's were also found).

Other birds worth noting included 5 Northern Cardinals (2 private yards), a Northern Mockingbird, a Hermit Thrush and a red race Fox Sparrow (which has been around for over a month).

We searched along the Republican River for Short-eared Owls at dusk; without success.

Then our day ended back at Sandsage Wildlife Area.

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