Friday, February 14, 2014

Return to Barr Lake and Adams County

February 14, 2014

Richard Stevens:

I walked around below the Barr Lake dam for about two hours this afternoon.  The temperature reached around 49 degrees; winds measured at 7 mph.  I hoped for a photo of the Rusty Blackbirds that have been there for several weeks.

The cattails along the canal were "painted" with my binoculars without success in finding any Rusty Blackbirds.  Finally I opted to walk the east side of the canal (with the setting sun in my face, not good for photos).  A pair of Rusty Blackbirds was well hidden along the canal shore near outlet 8B.  It was a fortunate choice to change sides of the canal, as they could not be seen from the west side of the canal.

Several Red-tailed Hawks and Northern Harriers flew by; one Red-tailed Hawk flew directly over my head at about 10 feet.  There were great views of his eyes inspecting me.  Interesting, I have not had one come that close before.  Perhaps there was a meal nearby?

Later I picked up Rebecca and we drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams County).  The corner of 128th avenue and Tower Road was most interesting.  There are three hunting blinds here, although unoccupied today.  We seldom see geese at this corner because of the hunters. 

We enjoyed our own little Snow Goose Festival as we counted 8000+ White-cheeked Geese, six Snow Geese and one Ross's Goose.  Lamar's Snow Goose Festival this weekend is just too far from Denver for our travel.

While Rough-legged Hawks, one Ferruginous Hawk and five Red-tailed Hawks were observed along the Loop, no Lapland Longspurs were found among just a few Horned Larks.  No Short-eared Owls were spotted this evening.

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