Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Aurora Reservoir and Nearby Elbert County

November 25, 2013

Richard Stevens

Bryan Ehlmann and I attempted to recreate the superb birding day that Steve Mlodinow had at Aurora Reservoir yesterday.  We found many of the same birds; however, the numbers were far less today.

We eventually found the immature Glaucous Gull (huge white, easy to see), two Lesser Black-backed Gulls (dark mantles easy to pick out), three or four Thayer's Gulls, and one Long-tailed Duck.

We circled the 8.6 miles early in the morning and returned after lunch for another try.  The gulls fly over to DADS (Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site) throughout the day.  Our Gull numbers may have been higher; however, we only counted the gulls observed/counted at the same time (not both trips).

Afterwards we drove east and south into Elbert County to scope several locations where Short-eared Owls have been spotted in the past. Regrettably, no Short-eared Owls were found.

We did have a nice variety of raptors, which included Red-tailed Hawks (four subspecies), Rough-legged Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks (a light and dark morph), American Kestrel (pair) and a Prairie Falcon.

A stop at a friend's ranch did find a Long eared Owl in Elbert County.

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