Sunday, August 17, 2014

Return to Cameron Pass and Cherry Creek Reservoir

August 16-17, 2014

Richard Stevens:

A late call from three out of state birders Saturday afternoon and I was heading up to Cameron Pass (Jackson County).  Luck was with us; winds were calm.  Eventually we found three Boreal Owls in the cool night.  Unfortunately (or not) only one of the owls allowed us a quick look (less than four seconds).

The two easiest to relocate were (1) 300 yards northwest of the restroom parking area at the top of Cameron Pass and (2) 400 yards along the road/trail heading south from the Crags Campgrounds.

After returning to Denver and getting a couple of hours of sleep, I drove over to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County).  I searched briefly and found the Little Gull in the southeast corner of the lake.  The main purpose was to take some photos of the Park for an article I am writing for September's "Colorado Field Notes".

I did enjoy some superb highlights however.  While photographing the 12 Mile Beaver Pond, I found a Green Heron.  It is the only report of one at the State Park that I have heard of in 2014.

While photographing the dam tower area, I walked under the trees just north of the tower to frame a lake shot.  I looked up and saw a Yellow-billed Cuckoo staring down at me.  After a minute or so, it took off along the road/trail below the dam and disappeared when it reached the marina area. 

The cuckoo must have stopped by last night and with all the people around, stayed put until I stepped under the tree?

The road/trail below the dam is now completed.  One can now circle the whole lake on foot or bicycle.  Quite convenient, in past years, I walked 3/4 miles along the shaky rocks to circle the lake.

Dozens of Snowy Egrets were just north of the marina at the southern end of the dam road/trail.  Another dozen searched for food at the Cottonwood Creek Wetlands Pond.

I do not want to write to the cobirders listserve, but want to put on record a Jaeger flying around Cherry Creek Reservoir.  Did anyone else see one on Sunday afternoon?  I reserve which species I thought it was until another time.

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