Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Long Day in Douglas County

Richard Stevens:

While waiting for the Magnificent Hummingbird to show up at my friend's home near Bailey, I update yesterday's birding adventures.

August 29, 2012

Bryan & Sue Ehlmann, Rebecca Kosten and I birded in Douglas County today. 

Our first goal was to look for Bobolink at the Winkler Ranch south of Castlewood Canyon State Park.  None was expected, however we found a female/immature about 1 mile south of the Winkler Ranch entrance along Castlewood Canyon Road.

The ranch was quite birdy. We heard a Dickcissel about 1/2 mile north of the Bobolink.  Several Common Yellowthroats were in willows along Cherry Creek (where the creek approaches the road).

Other birds found included: 1 Savannah Sparrow, many Vesper Sparrows, 1 Grasshopper Sparrow, 4+ Spotted Towhees, 1 Green-tailed Towhee (near Common Yellowthroat spot), Cordilleran Flycatcher, Mountain Bluebirds, Western Bluebirds (where road turns from north to west, north of Winkler Ranch), and one Wild Turkey (same area as Western Bluebirds).

Next, we headed west.  A quick look around the crooked tree at Louviers did not find the off and on visiting Acorn Woodpeckers.  Then we continued to Highway 67 and Rampart Range Road.

It took about 30 minutes before an American Three-toed Woodpecker was found.  A male was 30 yards east of the intersection and 25 yards north into the woods.

Our next stop was the Cheesman Canyon Trailhead off CO 126.  We walked west along the road to the green trailer area.  Lewis's Woodpeckers and Red-headed Woodpeckers have been found on this hike in the past.  None was found today.  We did find a MacGillivray's Warbler, Pine Siskins, 2 Red Crossbills and a Green-tailed Towhee.

Bryan and I hiked up the Canyon Trail while Sue and Rebecca drove to the Reservoir.  Along our trek, Bryan and I found 2 American Three-toed Woodpeckers.  Other birds recorded included 3 species of nuthatches, additional Red Crossbills, Pine Siskins, 2 Townsend's Solitaires, 1 Green-tailed Towhee, 2 Spotted Towhees, American Crows and Common Ravens.

Nothing uncommon was found on the reservoir and we headed to Bailey.  The Magnificent Hummingbird had again returned to my friend's hummingbird feeders (only once and at 8:41 am).

Later, Bryan and I went owling back around Cheesman Reservoir and Deckers.  We eventually found 2 Northern Pygmy-Owls.  While we stopped at various locations and played recordings, we left two "owl listening stations" along our route. 

One of these stations picked up a Northern Saw-whet Owl!  We plan to go back tomorrow night and try to relocate the owl.  We did go back to Rampart Range Road and Highway 67.  We did not get a response from the Northern Saw-whet Owl reported in the area by Tom Bunker on 4/12/2012.

A Great Horned Owl was found around Cheesman Reservoir and another along CO 126, west of the Cheesman Canyon Trail.

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