Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Southeastern Colorado Trip

August 19 to 22, 2014

Richard Stevens:

August 19, 2014
Bryan Ehlmann, three Florida birders and I headed to Las Animas County by way of Interstate 25.  We stopped to go owling in Custer County.

Eventually we found two Northern Saw-whet Owls along the South Creek Trail.  A Flammulated Owl responded to our recordings played at the Davenport Campgrounds.

August 20, 2014
Our troop camped at Cottonwood Canyon (Baca County) for the night.  A Western Screech-Owl was heard calling about 5:00 am.  Later we found Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Rufous-Crowned Sparrow, Mississippi Kite & Lewis's Woodpecker.

In the afternoon, we drove over to Picture and Sand Canyons.  No Painted Buntings were around.  We did add another Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Curve-billed Thrashers and a Greater Roadrunner to our trip list.

August 21, 2014
We camped back at Cottonwood Canyon and again found a Western Screech-Owl (this time around 10:00 pm.

In the morning we found a Cassin's Vireo, Gray Vireo, Lazuli Bunting in Cottonwood Canyon, then headed to Gunnison, Colorado.

Two American Three-toed Woodpeckers were relocated north and south of highway 50, near the Monarch Ski Area Rest Stop.

August 22, 2014
At first light we drove Gunnison County Road 38 at dawn and found five Gunnison Sage-Grouse north of CR 38A.  Our friends had to catch a 9:00 pm flight out of DIA and we rushed back to Denver. 

Along the way, a quick stop was made at Antero Reservoir (Park).  The only interesting bird was a Common Loon. 

Afterwards, I made it to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) before Friday traffic halted the trip home.  Scoping Cherry Creek Reservoir for about two hours, I did not find the previously reported Little Gull. 

It was a good afternoon for terns.  Eighteen Black Terns stood on various buoys.  Two Common Terns scared off four Black Terns off one buoy.  While watching them, a Caspian Tern pushed the Common Terns off.  At least two Forster's Terns also flew around.  A Townsend's Warbler was flying around the Smoky Hill Group Picnic Area.

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