Monday, January 28, 2013

Owls and Woodpeckers, Reynolds Park

January 27, 2013

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann, Jerry Petrosky, Sean Reese and I headed to Reynolds Park (Jefferson County) about two hours before sunrise.  Temperatures eventually reached the high 50s; winds were mild (at less than 6 mph).

No Northern Pygmy-Owls responded to our recordings played at the larger (western) parking area.  We drove to the smaller (eastern) parking area and walked the Songbird Trail back to the western parking area.

A Northern Pygmy-Owl called north of the trail (between the two parking areas) about 45 minutes before sunrise!  Unfortunately, we were not able to see the bird after civil twilight and sunrise.

Our trek continued up the Oxen Draw Trail to the intersection with the Eagle's View and Raven's Roost Trails.  Note: caution was needed, as parts of the trail were quite icy.

Just before the intersection, the distinct drumming of an American Three-toed Woodpecker was heard.  Fifteen minutes or so later, we observed a male Three-toed Woodpecker along the Eagle's View Trail (approximately 100 yards south of the intersection of the three trails).

Instead of continuing the long route along the Eagle's View Trail back to the Raven's Roost Trail (over the new section of Eagle's View), we cut across Raven's Roost and back to the Elkhorn Trail which connects with the Songbird Trail leading back east.

Regrettably, we did not come across any Dusky Grouse.  Other birds observed included three species of Nuthatches, Brown Creepers, Downy Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers.

On the trip back home, we stopped briefly at the South Platte Reservoir (Arapahoe County).  We picked out the Common Loon and Long-tailed Duck and ended out birding morning.

In the afternoon, Bryan Ehlmann took several birders to Jackson Reservoir (Morgan County).  I chose not to join them.

Late in the afternoon, Rebecca and I drove through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County).  I do not know what I was thinking; thought we would see birds on open water.  Lake Ladora and 95 percent of Lower Derby Lake were ice and snow covered.  Few waterfowl were found.

The feeders at the contact station were empty.  Few birds were seen on the trip.  At least one each Ferruginous Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk and Bald Eagle were just about it.

The Bison have been moved to a field closer to the Visitor's Center (for those interested in mammals).  We counted 59 of the herd of 78 reported on the property.

Rebecca and I drove the last hour and a half of daylight back along 160th avenue.  Again, no Snowy Owl was found.  We hoped it would roost on a building, telephone pole or fence post for the night.  Not while we were there.  We especially watched the ranch where the landowner had told us he saw it several times behind his barn.  Sadly, he did not invite us to go look.

Bryan Ehlmann 1/27/2013:

Bob Varnon, Amy Davenport, Sue and I went to Jackson Reservoir Sunday.

We found several Long eared Owls, two White throated Sparrows, one Harris's Sparrow, five Bald Eagles, four Yellow rumped Warnlers, and two Great tailed Grackles.

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