Monday, October 27, 2014

Brief Trip to Northeastern Colorado, few songbirds

October 23-24, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I made a brief two day trip to northeastern Colorado.  The fall weather continued to be gorgeous with temperatures in the low 80s and mild winds.  Birding was a pleasure in spite of the lack of birds.

October 23

At first light we stopped at Last Chance Rest Stop (Washington County).  A male Rusty Blackbird walked around the small pond.  A White-throated Sparrow was found with several White-crowned Sparrows at the southwest corner of the property.

Most of our day was spent at Bonny Reservoir and Hale Ponds.  We skipped walking Pipit Hill figuring the Sprague's Pipits were gone.  Later we were found to be wrong as Sprague's Pipits were seen as late as 10/25.

The highlight was a chattering Winter Wren along the Republican River, just northeast of Hale Ponds.  A pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers continued west of Hale Ponds.  A few Eastern Bluebirds also flew around the area.

A White-throated Sparrow was with several White-crowned Sparrows at the old Wagon Wheel Campgrounds.  After sunset, one of the Eastern Screech-Owls called back at Hale Ponds.

October 24

Richard Stevens:

Bryan and I stopped at four of the Walk-In Areas (WIA) around Clarksville (Yuma) hoping for find an uncommon sparrow (such as any "ammodramus); without success.  With dozens of WIAs in the county, we concentrated on those along creeks (it this case, Coyote Creek).

We continued north into Washington County and again stopped at WIAs along Surveyor Creek and Twentytwo Slough; without finding any uncommon birds.  Only a few White-crowned Sparrows and the usual Red-winged Blackbirds and European Starlings were recorded.

We stopped at Prewitt Reservoir (Logan/Washington) only to find many hunters at the inlet area.  Common sense dictated that we skipped walking through the area.

It worked out fine.  We walked the eastern end of the dam and found a Swamp Sparrow in the cattails!  Birding was slow and we moved on to Jackson Reservoir (Morgan).

Birding was slow here also.  Nothing uncommon was found on the lake or the shore.  Two White-throated Sparrows fluttered about the northern Campgrounds.  We did find one of the Long-eared Owls, which appeared to have stayed all year (location to remain unnamed).

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