Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Grouse Trip, Day 6

April 30, 2013

Rebecca Kosten: cell phone transcript and personal account;

About an hour before sunrise, Richard Stevens, Bob & Jan Miller drove Yuma County Roads.  Greater Prairie-Chickens were found along County Roads FF and EE.  These newly "discovered" leks offered closer views of the Greater Prairie-Chickens.

Finally, they returned to the old Yuma County Road 45 Lek about 1.5 hours after sunrise.  At least six Greater Prairie-Chickens were still displaying.  The birds here are hundreds of yards from CR 45.

Their route to the Pawnee National Grasslands passed by Jumbo Reservoir, Logan/Sedgwick Counties.  A quick survey found a Thayer's Gull, five Bonaparte's Gulls, Franklin's Gulls and two Willets.

A brief stop at Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area in Logan County did not find any Bell's Vireos; none was expected yet.  A Northern Cardinal and Red-bellied Woodpecker were near Tamarack Pond.

McCown's Longspurs were found along Weld County Road 96.  Mountain Plovers were found at two "traditional nesting fields".  A Chestnut-collared Longspur was seen displaying above the field southeast of Highway 85 and Weld County Road 114.

Snowstorms were predicted for the next day (and it did snow) so they decided to rush to Loveland Pass, Clear Creek County and end the day searching for White-tailed Ptarmigan.

They were surprised to find the weather on Loveland Pass quite good.  Winds were less than 10 mph, normally 20+ mph and roads were dry.

In less than twenty minutes, they found a pair of Ptarmigan below the trail going up the western side of the pass!

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