Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Drive Through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal

March 16, 2014

Richard Stevens:

What a fantastic late winter day.  Temperatures reached the 60s; winds were less than 8 mph.

Rebecca Kosten and I went for a drive through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County).  At least two Greater Scaup were still on Lower Derby Lake.

Waterfowl numbers on Derby were much higher than a week ago.  The 38 Canvasbacks looked spiffy in their new plumage.  Redheads, Buffleheads, Lesser Scaups, American Coots, Gadwalls and Mallards were among the 600+ ducks.

Three species of mergansers were all represented with a pair of each and two extra male Red-breasted Mergansers.  Five Canada Geese were the only "branta" representatives.

Lake Ladora had about 300+ gulls flying around.  Two Herring Gulls and six California Gulls were the only non-Ring-billed.

Sixty or so Bison were close to the fences today, good for those with that interest.

Our highlight was found as we left the park.  Two Sage Thrashers stood on the top of rabbit brush just outside the western fence line, west of the wildlife drive information kiosk near the Visitor's Center.

A few Red-tailed Hawks, two Rough-legged Hawks, one Ferruginous Hawk and a pair of American Kestrels were along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams).  No Short-eared Owls appeared tonight.

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