Saturday, August 4, 2012

Reynolds Park Circuit

August 2, 2012

Richard Stevens:

John Kendall, Robert Moss and I parked at the large parking area for Reynolds Park (Jefferson County) about two hours before sunrise.  Winds were calm and temperatures in the low 60s.  The full moon was waning; still it lit up the forest well. 

We hiked the Songbird trail east to the smaller parking area and back.  No Northern Pygmy-Owls called this morning.  On three of my past four trips this summer, we heard a Common Poorwill northwest of the larger parking area.  None responded to our recordings today.

After sunrise, we made the circuit (Elkhorn to Raven's Roost to Eagle's View to Oxen Draw).  This strenuous hike is always quite rewarding in bird sightings.

The first curves south of the Old Service Road are a good place to stop for woodpeckers.  Today we saw a male Williamson's Sapsucker and heard the distinctive drumming of a male American Three-toed Woodpecker.

Bob thought he saw a Dusky Grouse scurry across Raven's Roost trail.  Neither John nor I could confirm.  Our lucky improved farther down the trail.  A Dusky Grouse meandered in the woods on the west side of Raven's Roost approximately 350 yards south of the Old Service Road and 8 yards to the west.

Three species of nuthatches, Brown Creepers, Chipping Sparrows and Pine Siskins were recorded as we continued south (and uphill, not a flat trail).

Eventually we reached the clearing at the Eagle's View Trail.  It is a nice view to the south.  Many times Dusky Grouse have been found in the woods north of the trail.  Unfortunately, none was seen today.  Several Townsend's Solitaires called atop the firs.

Finally, the circuit heads downhill (north).  Dusky Grouse have been found several times just south of the junction of the three trails (Eagle's View, Raven's Roost and Oxen Draw).  However again none was found today. 

The same intersection is another good place to search for woodpeckers.  Today a female American Three-toed Woodpecker was found about 20 yards north (downhill) of the intersection.

When we reached the intersection of Oxen Draw and Elkhorn trails, we inspected the willows along Kennedy Creek.  A Virginia's Warbler fluttered about!

The day was warming up nicely and we headed back to Denver.

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