Saturday, February 22, 2014

Search for Dusky Grouse, Inclement Weather Moves In to Mountains

February 22, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Weather in the mountains deteriorated rapidly today.  Josh Cummings and I hoped to find a Dusky Grouse and headed to Reynolds Park (Jefferson County).

Unfortunately, we hiked the whole loop Elkhorn-Raven's Roost-Eagles View-Oxen Draw without running into a Dusky Grouse.  That is 4.6 miles of icy trails with winds 27 mph.  An adult American Three-toed Woodpecker was found just northeast of the Eagle's View, Raven's Roost, Oxen Draw intersection.

I considered driving to Kenosha Pass (Park County) and searching there.  High winds and the possibility of a foot or two of snow, plus falling snow made us turn back toward Denver.

We stopped at Red Rocks Park (Jefferson).  There was plenty of seed behind the trading post.  Three dozen+ Dark-eyed Juncos, two Song Sparrows and one White-crowned Sparrow wandered around.  After 10 minutes, the adult Golden-crowned Sparrow popped out of the bushes.  I took 22 photos, but light was poor so I am anticipating just witness shots.

After dropping Josh off, I drove toward the DIA Owl Loop (Adams).   The Greater Scaup were not on the Green Valley Recreation Center Pond?  Several thousand White-cheeked Geese roamed the field north of the park.  No Greater White-fronted Goose was among them.

No Short-eared Owls appeared along the DIA Owl Loop.  Winds measured steady at 25 mph, gusts to 31 mph as the sun set.

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