Thursday, August 23, 2012

Owl Trip to Jackson and Larimer Counties

August 18-22, 2012

Bryan Ehlmann: An Owl Trip to Jackson and Larimer Counties

August 18, 2012

Sue and I birded in Jackson and Larimer Counties for a few days.  We drove north from Brighton to Briggsdale on our way to Crow Valley Campgrounds and Pawnee National Grasslands, Weld County.

We scoped the Upland Sandpiper field seven miles south of Briggsdale and did not find any Upland Sandpipers.  Crow Valley Campground was slow.  No uncommon birds were found.

A check of the Mountain Plover fields where several birds nested last summer did not find even one.

We arrived at Cameron Pass just before midnight (stopped in Fort Collins for dinner).  A Boreal Owl was heard northeast of the rest area pullover.

A walk around the Crags Campgrounds found a second Boreal Owl.  They may have been two south of the Campgrounds.

August 19, 2012

We parked before sunrise at Delaney Buttes Greater Sage-Grouse lek.  No grouse were here or seen when we hiked to the top of the Butte.

Walden Reservoir, Jackson County had a few interesting shorebirds.  A Pectoral Sandpiper and Willet walked along the northern shore.  A pair of Red-necked Phalaropes was seen at the northwest corner.

We drove around the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in the afternoon.  No Greater Sage-Grouse were encountered.  A Willet was along the self-guided car tour.  A few Sage Thrashers, Brewer's Sparrows, Vesper Sparrows and Killdeer were seen.

August 20, 2012

Today Sue and I drove to the old Teller Ghost Town.  The road coming south from Gould is not good for passenger cars.  We have a jeep and our teeth took a good rattling.

A Three-toed Woodpecker was found by its distinctive drumming at the northwest corner of the self-guided trail.  The few building still standing in the old Silver mining town are interesting.

Our attempt to find owls at dusk was unsuccessful.

August 21, 2012

Today Sue and I drove up Buffalo Pass, east of Steamboat Springs, Routt County.  In total, seven Three-toed Woodpeckers were found!

Most of this road is passable in a passenger car; we had our jeep.  Owling was not very successful.  We found only one Flammulated Owl near the Summit.

August 22, 2012

I went out into the Colorado State Forest by myself at 3:00 am.  Two Boreal Owls and a Flammulated Owl were found along Ruby Jewell Road.  Richard Stevens and I had taken GPS waypoints earlier in the summer.  The birds were found close to these waypoints.

After breakfast, Sue and I hit the various hummingbird feeders around Gould.  The feeders around Gould have Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds visiting.  The KOA Campgrounds had those two species and a young male Calliope Hummingbird.  The feeders at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center only had Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds coming to them.

Wilson's Warblers, a Fox Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow and Pine Siskins also came out of the willows.  A couple of Gray Jays called from overhead.

A Three-toed Woodpecker drummed across highway 14.

We timed our trip back to Denver to hit Pennock Pass, Larimer County at dusk.  Two Flammulated Owls were curious and responded to our tapes.

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