Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jefferson and Park County Birding

November 10, 2013

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann, two California birders and I started our day at sunrise at Pine Valley Ranch Park (Jefferson County).  It was too cold to start looking for American Three-toed Woodpeckers wandering around so we walked the Narrow Gauge Trail.

American Dippers appear to have moved on (down to lower elevations for the winter).  The highlight was a Northern Pygmy-Owl watching us near the closed gate at the west end of the trail.

Birds really did not start moving around until well after the 6:39 am sunrise.  We noticed more movement around 10:00 am (on our way down the mountain).  It was a chilling hike up the Buck Gulch Trail to the Strawberry Jack Trail on to Parkview Trail.

The sun just started to warm up the hillside when we reached the Parkview Trail and continued south on Strawberry Jack.  We heard drumming to east of the Strawberry Jack Trail about 200 yards south of Parkview Trail.  We dropped downhill (east) and found an adult female American Three-toed Woodpecker (the only one encountered all morning).

No additional Northern Pygmy-Owls or Three-toed Woodpecker was run across as we continued to the rocky hillside farther south (a productive location of owls on past trips).

Our morning list included three species of nuthatches, a few Mountain Bluebirds, a dozen Dark-eyed Juncos and half a dozen Pine Siskins.

Already on Highway 285, we decided to continue to Park County and the trio of reservoirs there.

Antero Reservoir had few birds (mostly ice covered).

Spinney Mountain Reservoir had only one Surf Scoter and not much else.

Eleven Mile Reservoir had the most birds including three Surf Scoters.

Misses: no loons, swans or additional uncommon ducks.

On the way back to Denver, we searched Bear Creek Lake Park (Jefferson) for the Surf Scoter and Rusty Blackbird reported earlier in the week; without success.

The Golden-crowned Sparrow again did not make an appearance below the Red Rocks Park (Jefferson) platform feeders during an hour wait late in the afternoon.

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