Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Birding Along Interstate 76

July 31, 2012

Richard Stevens:

In spite of the inclement weather, I enjoyed a great day of birding!  Rain prevented the setting up of "migration listening stations" at Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld County) last night.  Additional rain was predicted for this afternoon; therefore, I decided forego setting up the stations.

Instead, I drove to Prewitt Reservoir (Logan/Washington) and walked around for about six hours before the rain.  When it started to rain, I headed for Fort Morgan for lunch.

Prewitt Reservoir had some nice mudflats (although wet and mushy).  Birds observed included my second Buff-breasted Sandpiper in three days (Adams & Weld Counties).  Also scoped 1 Long-billed Curlew, 2 Pectoral Sandpipers, 2 Willet and an Upland Sandpiper.  They were part of the 18 species seen.

It was quite wet below the dam.  The only "out of place" bird was an Olive-sided Flycatcher.  A waterthrush left unidentified was most likely a Northern Waterthrush.

No uncommon gulls were found.  Each black headed Gull was closely inspected.  I was hoping for a Laughing Gull, which seem to appear this time of year on the eastern plains.  Only Franklin's Gulls were found.

Later I went over to Jackson Reservoir (Morgan).  There were less shorebirds here.  However, they included a Semipalmated Plover and 2 Snowy Plovers in 14 species.

The last hour of daylight was spent at Barr Lake (Adams).  Again, I approached from the northern side (144th avenue exit of I76).  The group of shorebirds found two days ago were not along the northern shore.

A couple of Baird's Sandpipers, 3 Spotted Sandpipers and a Western Sandpiper were just about it (well dozens of Killdeer created quite a ruckus trying to distract my focus).

The Royal Tern appeared to be hunkered down on the sandbar in the middle of the lake.  It was between many gulls and I only could see the orange bill of a larger than middle-sized tern.

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