Saturday, October 26, 2013

Another Trip to Guanella Pass and Some Nice Birds on the Trip Home

October 25, 2013

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I took advantage of one of the last few superb fall days in Colorado (if the predicted snowstorms for next week come true).  We took Kirk Gross and Michael Kliss up to Guanella Pass (Clear Creek County).

The weather was fantastic in the morning.  Partly cloudy skies and winds less than 15 mph.  By noon, a front blew in from the west.  Fortunately, my luck (and streak) continued.  We found a White-tailed Ptarmigan in less than 20 minutes.  A male bird jumped up on a boulder about 20 yards southeast of the Rosalie & 603 Trails!

While everyone else had plans for the late afternoon.  I drove back to Cherry Creek State Park (Arapahoe).  On Jerry Petrosky's scouting, I relocated the Black Scoter off the Lake Loop.  Jerry's Thayer's Gull was on the floating telephone poles surrounding the southwest marina.  Water levels were quite high; there was no mudflats (or exposed shore) for any shorebirds.

I passed the flooded field north of Tower Road and 96th Avenue on my way home.  The Red Phalarope, Pectoral Sandpiper and Long-billed Dowitchers continue to feed in the shallow ponds.

One Burrowing Owl was found near Trussville Road and 114th Avenue (Adams).  I thought all the Burrowing Owls had departed for southern wintering grounds.  There may be a few additional sightings yet this fall.  I will put a photo on the CoBus photo library soon.

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