Sunday, August 25, 2013

Laramie River Road and a Pileated Woodpecker, Larimer County

August 24, 2013

Richard Stevens:

We received a message that two Missouri birders had seen a Pileated Woodpecker along the southwest side of Chambers Lake (Larimer County) yesterday.  Our plans to conduct bird surveys up Zimmerman Lake trail were scrubbed and our day was spent in search of this elusive Colorado bird.

There have been at least two previous reports of Pileated Woodpecker in Colorado.  Both were single birder sightings and therefore have not been accepted as State Records.

Long story short, we (Bryan Ehlmann, Jacob Washburn, Ray Simmons & I) did not find the darn thing.

We circled Chambers Lake running into three American Three-toed Woodpeckers, no Pileated Woodpecker.

Bryan and I drove up the Green Ridge Jeep trail (passed Lost Lake and Laramie Lake) and continued to Twin Lakes.

An American Three-toed Woodpecker was around Lost Lake.  Another American Three-toed Woodpecker was seen at the western Twin Lake.

Meanwhile Jacob and Ray hiked up the Barnes Meadow Reservoir trail.  They also ran across an American Three-toed Woodpecker and a Dusky Grouse.

Later we all drove to Tunnel Campgrounds.  While some interesting birds were found, no Pileated Woodpecker.  We did see two American Three-toed Woodpeckers, two Townsend's Warblers and a Calliope Hummingbird.

In the past, Magnificent Hummingbirds had been found on three occasions in July and early August.  It would have been a nice consolation prize but was not to be.

At dusk, a Dusky Grouse crossed Laramie River Road (0.1 miles south of the Campgrounds).

A thunderstorm ended any chance for successful owling.

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