Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Drive Around Eastern Arapahoe County

August 16, 2014

Richard Stevens:

With seven Cassin's Kingbird reports for Arapahoe County in the past month, Rebecca and I decided to search for one for ourselves.  We drove East Jewell Avenue, past Murphy Creek Golf Course toward East Yale Avenue.  Reports of two Cassin's Kingbirds in the area yesterday did not help us find one.  The dozen or so kingbirds were all Western.  Fifty or so Lark Buntings feeding around the sunflowers along the road were all females or young males, no adult males.  Farther east, the road was closed because of bridge repair. 

We wanted to checkout Aurora Reservoir anyway, so we circled over to East Quincy Avenue, past the entrance to Aurora Reservoir and turned north on Watkins Road, then west on East Yale Avenue.  Hundreds of Lark Buntings, again females or young males flew around on both sides of the road.  Dozens of Mourning Doves accompanied them.

We continued west, then north, then west until reaching the same bridge under repair.  The return trip was more interesting.  An adult Red-headed Woodpecker flew to a fence post at the corner where East Yale Street turns from South to East.  Later the woodpecker returned to the few trees just to the west.

At 29801 E. Yale, we stopped to look at a Sage Thrasher.  It was here that we got our Arapahoe County Cassin's Kingbird.  It was hawking insects at the end of the driveway!

Aurora Reservoir was uneventful. Too many people and few birds moved about.

On Sunday, 8/17, Quincy Avenue will be closed from Robertsdale Road (first road east of Aurora Reservoir entrance) to Watkins Road.  Predicted to be a one-day closure for a reason that was not listed.

No Short-eared Owls were found along the DIA Owl Loop on our drive home.  Burrowing Owls still at Quency Street prairie dog village.

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