Sunday, September 15, 2013

Long Search for a Prothonotary Warbler in Jefferson County

September 14, 2013

Richard Stevens:

The plan was to rest today with a short side trip to search for the Prothonotary Warbler at Main Reservoir.  I thought it was a first county sighting for me; later checking records, it would be the third Jefferson County bird and my sixth Colorado Prothonotary Warbler (memory is not as good as it once was, or I have just seen too many birds to remember, I go with the later!).

I would eventually see the bird, however only after five hours and then after another birder found it.  I walked the south side of Main Reservoir twice.  At the location where it was finally seen, I had stopped because of a call note that I could not recognize.  It could have been the Prothonotary Warbler, but I could not find the bird that called briefly at the time.  I knew it was not a Wilson's Warbler (two were in the area), but never guess what the bird was.

A young male American Redstart was found on my first pass through the area.  He eventually flew into the yard south of the trail.

After a third pass and a wait of two hours, the Prothonotary Warbler made a brief appearance from deep in the bushes!

My plan was to drive through Barr Lake (Adams) on the way home and search for a Golden-winged Warbler and Great Crested Flycatcher found earlier in the day.  About 30 minutes from Barr Lake, I ran into a heavy rainstorm and accompanying hail.  Instead, a quick detour got me home before saturated roads turned into rivers.

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