Thursday, September 27, 2012

Barr Lake, Belmar Historic Park & Chatfield Reservoir

September 26, 2012

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I enjoyed an interesting day of birding.  Owling was again scratched due to rain.

Our day started with a hike at Barr Lake State Park (Adams County).  Skies were overcast; temperatures in the middle 60s, good birding weather.

We hiked from the Visitor's Center to mile marker 3.5 and back.  Most of the shorebirds were too far away to identify.  We did not see any plovers or Buff-breasted Sandpipers, which should have stood out among the sandpipers.

The Plumbeous Vireo still fluttered about the Niedrach Boardwalk Trail (or maybe not the same one found on 9/24).  A Black-and-white Warbler was found in the taller willows just southwest of the Niedrach Trail.  A Common Yellowthroat "pished up" from the shorter willows.

Along the western side of the park, a pair of Townsend's Warblers was found at mile marker 2.8.  Highlight bird of the day was a Palm Warbler among 12-24 Yellow-rumped Warblers at mile marker 3.0!

We turned around at mile marker 3.5 as the trail between mile markers 4.0 & 6.0 (end of dam) has fewer trees and is farther from the riparian area.

A 30 minute search for the Bay-breasted Warbler or any uncommon birds back at the banding area (mile marker 8.7) did not turn up any rare birds.

A couple of House Wrens, a Western Wood-pewee, a Dusky Flycatcher and another unidentified "empidonax flycatcher" are still around.  No orioles were found.

This eight mile hike was one of my shorter hikes in the past couple of weeks.  Legs are getting tired.

Next, we drove to Belmar Historic Park (Jefferson) for another search for the Palm Warblers and Blackpoll Warblers.  One Palm Warbler was with a small flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers along the western side of Kountze Lake.  At least 4 Snowy Egrets remain.

We again found a couple of Wilson's Warblers, a MacGillivray's Warbler and Orange-crowned Warblers.  The Blackpoll Warblers, Townsend's Warbler and Ash-throated Flycatcher were not relocated.

Our finally stop was Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas).  We scoped the lake from the "cliffs" high above the southern side of the reservoir, west of Campgrounds.  The previously reported Arctic Tern stayed quite far from the shore.  We also found a Common Loon from our elevated vantage point.

Several Red-necked Phalarope were observed swimming around Plum Creek Delta.  A Plumbeous Vireo was long Plum Creek to the footbridge.

The riparian area south of the Plum Creek Delta footbridge was quite birdy.  The best bird was a Blackpoll Warbler.  Other birds included a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, a Wilson's Warbler and a Western Wood-pewee.

By this time, traffic around Denver was terrible so we headed over to Deer Creek Park.  Unfortunately, it was raining when we arrived; that ended our birding day before a Northern Pygmy-Owl search.

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