Monday, January 26, 2015

Another Fantastic Winter Day Around Denver

January 26, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Monday was even better than yesterday.  Temperatures reached 64 degrees; winds were less than 8 mph.  What a fantastic day for late January!

My first stop today was Crown Hill Park (Jefferson County).  Yesterday's report of a Glaucous Gull and two Mew Gulls was intriguing.  Unfortunately, the only gulls on the ice were Ring-billed.  I checked out nearby Prospect Lake, Bass Lake and Arvada Reservoir; no uncommon gulls.

A quick stop at Red Rocks Park (Jefferson) found the Golden-crowned Sparrow behind the trading post. 

I swung over to Adams County and found no gulls on Lake Ladora or Lower Derby Lake at Rocky Mountain Arsenal.  For information: the Visitor's Center is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Only Ring-billed Gulls flew around the northeast corner of Barr Lake.  I enjoyed good fortune at the southeast corner below the dam (mile 7.0).  A Thayer's Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull stood on the ice; however, no Glaucous Gull could be found.

An hour before sunset, I scoped Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) from above the fishing parking area along the west side (required a 0.3 mile hike).  Hundreds of gulls stood on the ice (quite far from the shore).

I could pick out one Lesser Black-backed Gull.  A possible Thayer's Gull eventually flew overhead and confirmed it was a Thayer's Gull.

Another Gull in the group was quite interesting.  At 4:30 pm, the gulls started to take off and flew overhead and west.  Of course, the interesting Gull was the very last Gull to leave.  It turned out to be a somewhat strange looking Herring Gull.  No Glaucous Gull found here either.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Five Owl Day Around Denver

January 25, 2015

Richard Stevens:

I enjoyed the beautiful Colorado winter day by birding around Denver.  The high temperature was 64 degrees; winds were recorded from 4 mph to 9 mph.  Fantastic!

My third attempt to find the Fox Sparrow reported below the Chatfield State Park dam was again a bust.  Using GPS, in two hours I only got within 0.1 miles of the site.  High fences and closed areas limited the search.  An Eastern Screech-Owl looking out of his hole in an old Cottonwood Tree was a nice consolation!

Eaglewatch Lake was 90 percent ice free due to the recent warm spell.  The result, the Greater Scaup (8+) that spent last week on the nearby South Platte River were on the lake today.  Only one female remained on the South Platte River near the C470 Bridge.

The previously reported Barrow's Goldeneye on the S. Platte River was on South Platte Park Reservoir (west of Eaglewatch Lake).  Only a few dozen gulls were on the limited ice, South Platte Park Reservoir was about 90 percent ice-free.  The best was a Glaucous Gull, which stood on the Jefferson County side of the ice.

My trek continued north.  It took only 10 minutes to find the Golden-crowned Sparrow that has been behind the Red Rocks Park trading post for almost three months now.

My luck at the Denver West Office Complex was not quite as fortunate.  The Pine Warbler, which has been there for about two months, was not found by me.  Although, my search only lasted about 30 minutes as no flocks of birds were found when I circled buildings 3,4,5,6, and 7.

Closer to home, I walked the trail at Barr Lake (Adams County) and found an adult male Barn Owl in the nesting box near the banding station.  A Thayer's Gull was on the ice just north of the banding station.  Many of the gulls were northwest of the banding station, however quite close to the shore.  At least one Lesser Black-backed Gull was with many Ring-billed and some Herring Gulls.  I did not see the previously reported Glaucous Gull.  A Great Horned Owl was seen near the Pioneer Trail!

Close attention was paid to the wigeons hoping to find a possible Eurasian Wigeon that was reported last week.  The several dozen scoped were all American Wigeons.

My five owl birding day ended long the DIA Owl Loop.  A Long-eared Owl was found at an undisclosed location along the DIA Owl Loop.  Finally, shortly after sunset, a Short-eared Owl was observed flying along the creek/drainage along Gun Club Road, south of 96th avenue.

The area at the dead-end of Gun Club Road, from 114th avenue, has been quite good for Short-eared Owl sightings (this is the same field that is bordered by Quency Street to the east; 3.4 miles east of Tower Road and 96th avenue.

A Short Week In Jackson County

January 21-24, 2015

Richard Stevens:

We spent four days resting, owling and snowshoeing in Jackson County.  The first day it snowed; weather was quite nice after that.  Winds at night were calm for the Cameron Pass area (10-12 mph).  Many winter nights, anemometer readings will be 15+ mph with gusts close to 30 mph.

Each morning we dropped by the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center.  Rosy Finches were quite regular, however low in numbers.  Only one Black Rosy Finch was seen in the four mornings we visited.

One morning we drove Jackson County Road 26 hoping to find a Greater Sage-Grouse; without success.  No Greater Sage-Grouse were found this trip on our only venture to the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge. 

Two mornings (1/22 & 1/23) the male American Three-toed Woodpecker appeared in the firs north of the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center.  We did not look for him the other days.

Most of our snow shoeing treks were only a few miles on relatively flat landscapes.  I did go down to the Crags Campgrounds one evening and hear a Boreal Owl just south of the Campgrounds.  Boreal Owls were heard west of Cameron Pass on 1/22, 1/23 & 1/24.

Another afternoon, a Dusky Grouse walked across highway 14 at 100 yards west of Cameron Pass.

Red Crossbills were run across on two of our snowshoe trips.  Unfortunately, no White-winged Crossbills were among them.

One afternoon we drove into Steamboat Springs (Routt County).  A pair of Sharp-tailed Grouse was at their previously reported location (see Colorado Birding Society's website).  Another six were found at a private ranch.

A final glance at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center on 1/25 found 28 Rosy Finches (no Black) and we returned to Denver.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Barr Lake & DIA Owl Loop, Adams County Birding

January 20, 2015

Richard Stevens:

While out doing chores, I stopped by Barr Lake (Adams County).  I ran into Alec Hopping who found a Glaucous Gull off the banding station area.  Unfortunately, I was not able to relocate the Glaucous Gull.  A Lesser Black-backed Gull was found northwest of the boat ramp.

No Short-eared Owls were found along the DIA Owl Loop this evening.  I stopped at the corner of 96th avenue & Quency Street to scope for Short-eared Owls and saw a white owl on the fence post to the northwest.  My first thought was a Snowy Owl.  It flew several times and landed on other fence posts.  It turned out to be a quite white Barn Owl.  A few weeks ago, I had found a road kill Barn Owl at this same corner.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Birding Around Denver

January 19, 2015

Richard Stevens:

I stayed around Denver today.  Stopped at Smith Lake, Washington Park (Denver County).  The ice shelf is melting and the gulls were farther away from shore today.  The adult Thayer's Gull was still there.  I did not see the juvenile Thayer's or the probable Iceland Gull.  Gulls were flying around much; perhaps the uncommon ones will return.

From Wash Park, I drove to Lakecrest, also Denver County.  At least two male and a female Greater Scaup are still there.  Thanks to Frank and Nancy Hatch for reporting them a couple of days ago.  I found no Barrow's Goldeneyes; plenty of Canvasbacks, Ring-necked Ducks and Common Goldeneyes were observed.

On a hunch, I tried Emerald Strand Park, which is just east of Lakecrest.  Ducks on the water included four dozen Ring-necked, a pair of Canvasbacks, a dozen Common Goldeneyes and a Barrow's Goldeneyes.  I would think that the ducks and geese move back and forth between the two close lakes, depends upon the amount of open water.

No Short-eared Owls were found tonight along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams County).  Raptors included: three Red-tailed Hawks, one Rough-legged Hawk, three Ferruginous, and a pair of American Kestrels.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Trip to the Mountains

January 18, 2015

Richard Stevens:

It was another fantastic 60 degree winter day in Colorado.  Winds were mild on the plains, rather wicked in the mountains.

I rose early and met three out of state birders for a trip to Guanella Pass (Clear Creek County).  A strenuous 5.2 mile hike provided sightings of six White-tailed Ptarmigan.  We drove up from the Grant side and on the trip back to our car, found an American Three-toed Woodpecker in the firs near the pipe gate.

On the way back to Denver, we detoured first to Pine Valley Ranch Park (Jefferson).  We hiked up to the rocky hillside half a mile south of the intersection of the Parkview and Strawberry Jack trails.  The area is sometimes good for a Northern Pygmy-Owl, however not tonight.  A female American Three-toed Woodpecker was encountered on the trip up (below the Parkview/Strawberry Jack intersection).

No owls were heard at around the parking area (sometimes they linger there) and we drove to Reynolds Park (Jefferson).  Our luck changed there.  A Northern Pygmy-Owl was heard along the Songbird Trail!

Larimer County American Woodcock to DIA Owl Loop, Adams County

January 17, 2015

Richard Stevens:

What a beautiful winter day in Colorado!  While much of the country is experiencing inclement weather, we birded in 60 degree weather with mild winds.

I took my mother up to Bobcat Ridge Natural Area (Larimer County) and arrived around 8:00 am.  After walking the creek at the Natural Area entrance, I painted the creek with my binoculars and was able to find the American Woodcock.  It was about 50 yards east of its location yesterday.

I showed the bird to eight other birders and took about 300 photos.  See photos on Colorado Birding Society's photo library:

On the way home, we stopped at Washington Park (Denver County).  The adult Thayer's Gull was still on Smith Lake (the northern lake of the two in the park).  The juvenile Thayer's Gull and possible Iceland Gull did not appear to be there.

After dropping my mother off at home, I drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams County).  I did not expect much with the superb weather.  Only two Horned Larks were found while I drove around for two hours. 

The sunset was one of those many superb sunsets that we get in winter.  Raptor count was seven Red-tailed Hawks, one Rough-legged Hawk, seven Northern Harriers, one male American Kestrel, and three Ferruginous Hawks.

The highlight:  While I scoped the field east of the infamous prairie dog town at 3.4 miles east of Tower Road and 96th avenue, I noticed a Short-eared Owl standing on a fence post of the fence going west to east toward the airport.

Perhaps it was waiting for the five Northern Harriers working the field to retire for the evening, giving the Short-eared Owl a chance to find some prey/food.

It was a topnotch ending to my remarkable day of birding!

Search for Birds in Arapahoe & Denver Counties

January 16, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I walked the creek below the Chatfield Reservoir dam from its confluence with the South Platte River upstream for about 0.7 miles.  We were not able to relocate the red form Fox Sparrow reported several days earlier.

Three or four male and two female Greater Scaup continued to swim in the Platte River near the C470 Bridge.  Another ten+ Greater Scaup continued on the South Platte Park Reservoir (Arapahoe).  Only Ring-billed Gulls were among the 80 gulls on the ice shelf.

Later I drove over to Washington Park (Denver County) and photographed the gulls near the Smith Lake parking area.  At least one adult Thayer's Gull was there.  I thought there to be at least two.  One very light bird may have been an Iceland Gull.  Further study of  the photographs may confirm that.

A drive through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) did not find any uncommon gulls.  A Northern Shrike perched atop a Russian Olive Tree near Lakeview Drive and Cherry Creek.

Continued Birding Trip to South-central Colorado

January 13-15, 2015

Richard Stevens:

January 13

Bryan and I spent most of the day picking up the uncommon birds in Fremont County for our year list.

Greater White-fronted Geese were at Valco Ponds.  Two Rufous-crowned Sparrows were found while hiking up Tunnel Drive.  Another birder reported a Fox Sparrow (we did not find it).

A previously reported Williamson's Sapsucker was found at Centennial Park.  We relocated one of the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers at Rouse Park.

The most interesting stop was the Arkansas Riverwalk hike from Raynolds to Sells Pond.  Eventually, we recorded two Stub-tailed Wrens.  Both a Pacific Wren and Winter Wren have been reported here this winter.  Bryan and I are more conservative and prefer to call them Stub-tailed Wrens (although, at least one of them is a Winter Wren).  Further study is needed before we call either a Pacific Wren.

January 14

After a late start having searched for Spotted Owls most of last night, Bryan and I drove to Red Canyon Park (Fremont County).  About 12 Pinyon Jays were observed flying around the Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands.

We then headed east to Brush Hollow Wildlife Area (Fremont).  Another 20+ Pinyon Jays flew around southeast of the dam.  Two Juniper Titmice and a flock of 6+ Bushtits also added to our year list.

Our next stop was Beaver Creek Wildlife Area.  Two Wild Turkeys wandered along the creek.  About 15 minutes after sunset, a Northern Pygmy-Owl made a contact call!

Persistent paid off, we found (heard) at Spotted Owl tonight!  Location of this protected species will always remain discreet.

Our "owl listening stations" picked up another Northern Saw-whet Owl this night.  Strange that they called.  Usually our only successful technique is to play recordings while sitting nearby.  Scanning the area then with a spotlight sometimes reveals a nearby owl.

January 15

Bryan and I wound down our south-central Colorado trip with a drive down the Shelf Road to Cripple Creek and Victor.  No Rosy Finches were found at Cripple Creek (Teller County); however, we spotted about 50 Rosy Finches in Victor.  Most were Brown-capped Rosy Finches; however, two Gray-crowned and half a dozen Black Rosy Finches were picked out of the flock.

We wanted to go owling after sunset and continued east to Rampart Range Road and Highway 67.  A male American Three-toed Woodpecker drummed just north of Hwy 67 and east of Rampart Range Road.

After dark, a Northern Pygmy-Owl made a contact call when we played a recording along Rampart Range Road about 0.15 miles south of Hwy 67.  We were not able to find or pick up (on our "owl listening stations") any calls from Northern Saw-whet Owls reported in the area by David Suddjian on 1/12.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Good Start to a South-central Bird Trip

As people who have been watching the Bird Trip Link know, I have been quite remiss in updating the Blog in the past month.  Frankly, I have been rather tired of computers and the internet.  The time required to update the Blog has appeared consuming.  While birding I have been keeping notes, but rarely seeking a computer to log on to the internet.  With the New Year, I am refreshed and will try to do a better job of updating the Blog.

The Blog does allow me to keep a record on my birding travels.  It helps to remind my ever-growing old mind of past adventures. 

Rebecca Kosten: transcript of telephone call:

January 12, 2015

Bryan Ehlmann and I headed south to work on our 2015 year lists today.  Temperatures were in the low 30s; winds were 8+ mph.

Our first stop was in Colorado Springs.  In took about twenty minutes to relocate the Acorn Woodpecker  in the Willow Circle Neighborhood.

Pueblo Reservoir (Pueblo County) was a gold mine for our checklists.  With some effort and many stops around this large reservoir, we found: Red-throated Loon, Common Loons, a White-winged Scoter (perhaps the one that disappeared from Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) the day before one showed up at Pueblo Reservoir, a pair of Long-tailed Ducks, Barrow's Goldeneyes and Greater Scaup.

Gulls included the Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gull, and a Bonaparte's Gull. 

Other birds found were Canyon Towhee, Curve-billed Thrasher, Sage Thrasher, and Scaled Quail. 

Misses included Thayer's Gulls and Northern Mockingbird reported previously.

We continued west to Canon City where the two Stub-tailed Wrens were relocated along the Arkansas Riverwalk (Sells Pond to Raynolds Avenue).  We were able to record both and plan to make sonograms to compare with those of Pacific Wrens and Winter Wrens.

South Platte Park Reservoir to S. Platte Birding Area

January 11, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Today was 20 degrees colder than yesterday.  Temperatures only reached the middle 40s; winds were clocked at 12 mph, gusts to 21 mph.

Rebecca Kosten and I decided to work on our 2015 bird lists with a trip to South Platte Park Reservoir (Arapahoe).  It was one of a few lakes with open water.  The only other known to us was Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).

About 5 percent of the reservoir was open water.  A hundred or so gulls stood on the ice shelf along the eastern side of the lake (Arapahoe County side).  These gulls included a Glaucous Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Thayer's Gull.

Waterfowl included American Coots, Gadwall, Hooded Merganser and Common Goldeneye.  We could not pick out a Barrow's Goldeneye or Greater Scaup.

We passed 88th Avenue & Colorado Blvd (S. Platte Birding Area) on our trip home.  A Barrow's Goldeneye was found on the Platte River, north of 88th avenue.

Skies were cloudy, winds 12+ mph when we drove the DIA Owl Loop.  Only a few Horned Larks were found, no owls.

Twelve Miles of the South Platte River

January 10, 2015

Bryan Ehlmann email to cobirders listserve:

"Rich Stevens and I parked at South Platte Park and walked to Confluence Park downtown Denver. It's about 12 miles, then took the light rail back to our car.

It's a beautiful day, about 60 degrees and calm winds. For the most part it was uneventful, but enjoyable.

We did see two Greater Scaup south of Mineral. The Greater Scaup near Evans yesterday were not found. A Greater White fronted Goose was at Overland Golf Course across the street from Overland Pond Park.

At Overland Park Pond, Grant Frontier Park or most of the Platte River it is great to study or photograph our common wintering ducks."

Back to Cameron Pass and DIA Owl Loop

January 8 & 9, 2015

Richard Stevens:

January 8, 2015

On the way up to Cameron Pass (Jackson County), Bryan Ehlmann and I stopped to scope Lower Latham Reservoir (Larimer) just before sunset.

A Short-eared Owl flew over the southwest corner of Lower Latham Reservoir and continued south over the fields south of Weld County Road 48.

Later we heard a Boreal Owl just west of Cameron Pass and south of the Crags Campgrounds (Jackson County).

After Bryan Ehlmann returned from Cameron Pass, I decided to drive the DIA Owl Loop.  The heavy fog hanging over the area is usually good for Short-eared Owls flying around earlier in the evening.

That was the case.  I watched a Short-eared Owl was flying back and forth over the man made "canal" down Queensburg Street (west of road, across from road going up the tall hill on the eastern side of road).

Later, I watched another Short-eared Owl flying over the field at the south end of Gun Club Road (as it goes south from 114th avenue).

In Jackson County earlier, 20+ Rosy Finches (no Black) came to the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center feeders. 

No White-winged Crossbills were found at Zimmerman Lake Loop (Larimer).

Going After a Snow Bunting, Arapahoe County

January 7, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I went searching of the Snow Bunting and longspurs reported by Steve Mlodinow on 1/5 north of Deer Trail (Arapahoe County).

We did not have the exact location of Mlodinow's sighting; however, eventually found a Snow Bunting along South Prince Road, north of County Road 18.

Two flocks of longspurs were encountered.  Most were Lapland Longspurs, however, one Chestnut-collared Longspur was found with a flock north of CR 18.

Misses: No McCown's Longspurs were picked out of the horde of Lapland Longspurs.

Our birding day ended in Byers.  A Long-eared Owl was "hanging out" at a traditional location.

Snowy Afternoon Along the DIA Owl Loop

January 6, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Lousy weather, drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams County).  No owls only a few Horned Lark found.

Snowy Time in Northeastern Colorado

January 3 to 5, 2015

Richard Stevens:

January 3

Bryan Ehlmann and I held our own two man Christmas Count today at Crook (Logan County).  An official count was also being conducted.  We wanted to see how many birds we would miss.

As it turned out, it was a fantastic day in spite of high winds and snow late in the day.

At Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area we found Eastern Towhee (great find), Northern Cardinals, Eastern Screech-Owls (3), Eastern Bluebirds (6), Field Sparrow (1), Harris's Sparrow (1), and White-throated Sparrow (2).

On nearby private lands: a red Fox Sparrow, Eastern Screech-Owls and Lapland Longspurs.

Our birding day ended with a cold windy hike at the southern sections of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area.  Tracks of a Greater Prairie-Chicken were found in the snow; later, we scoped the field and watched the bird through falling snow.

January 4

Bryan and I drove through Julesburg (Sedgwick) today.  We got a late start waiting for the weather to  "clear" after yesterday's snowstorm and high winds.

A male Northern Cardinal was across the street from the Julesburg Elementary School. 

A walk down 2nd street in Ovid found a Red-bellied Woodpecker at the northern end of Ovid Woods and a male Northern Cardinal farther south.  The Purple Finch continued at local feeders (first observed on 12/29).

Before sunset, we found two Long-eared Owls at the Red Lion Wildlife Area/Jumbo Reservoir windbreak.  We parked at Sedgwick County Road 2 and watched the fields to the south of Jumbo Reservoir.  A Short-eared Owl flew back and forth several times just after sunset.  Later an Eastern Screech-Owl responded to our recordings played around Jumbo Reservoir.

January 5

The Red-bellied Woodpecker was relocated at the north end of Ovid Woods (Sedgwick).  We missed the Northern Cardinal in the woods; perhaps it was the one we found west of the bridge at Julesburg Wildlife Area. The Purple Finch that has been visited feeders in Ovid, continues.

A walk around the Ovid Sewage Ponds and S. Platte River found a Harris's Sparrow and two White-throated Sparrows.

Bryan Ehlmann and I started back from Julesburg late in the morning.  High winds along I76 caused us to return to Denver instead of detouring to some of the birding areas along the route (like Prewitt Reservoir or Jackson Reservoir).

A brief drive through the Campgrounds at Jumbo Reservoir (Logan/Sedgwick) found a Red-bellied Woodpecker.  The lake itself was frozen.

After dropping Bryan off, I drove over to the DIA Owl Loop hoping for photos of a Snow Bunting or Short-eared Owl.

I sat along Quency Street at 0.3 miles north of 96th avenue for about 50 minutes watching flocks of Horned Larks fly back and forth across the road.  They would land out of sight below the hill just west of the fence line.  On the east side, they would disappear into the tall cut grasses.  Eventually I was able to see the white wings of a Snow Bunting.  Unfortunately, it offered no photo opportunities.

About 10 minutes before sunset, I continued north and east along the Owl Loop.  On my second pass, I detoured south down Queensburg Street.  From the gravel parking area south of the Frontier Maintenance Shed, just north of the entrance to the airport, I scanned the fields to the west.  A Short-eared Owl flew about 100 yards to the west! 

No additional Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.  I was not able to find any Lapland Longspurs this trip.

Foggy Drive Around the DIA Owl Loop

January 2, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Another drive around the DIA Owl Loop.  Several huge flocks of White-cheeked Geese (mostly Canada Geese) were along 96th avenue, east of Tower Road.  The flock east of the E470 Toll Road contained a Greater White-fronted Goose.

No Short-eared Owls found tonight.  Northern Harriers: 5; Bald Eagle: adult; Red-tailed Hawk: 2; Rough-legged Hawk: 1; and a Prairie Falcon!  Great consolation prize for lack of owls.

Snowy First Day of 2015 in Adams County

January 1, 2015

Richard Stevens:

First day of our 2015 bird list, we went over to the Platte River Birding Area (Adams County).  A male Barrow's Goldeneye was north of 88th avenue. 

We also saw a Northern Shrike.  A Peregrine Falcon was on a billboard along I76 on the way to Barr Lake State Park.  A Prairie Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk and Ferruginous Hawk were east of Barr Lake.  We headed home before the snow started to get too thick, missed DIA Owl Loop today.

Snowy Day in Arapahoe County

December 31, 2014

Richard Stevens:

I drove over to Aurora Reservoir this afternoon, mostly to see conditions after our -8 degree night.  The reservoir is 99 percent ice and snow covered.  Gull population was way down from last week.  

A hundred or so were on the snow near the swim beach.  This group did include a Thayer's Gull and a Lesser Black-backed Gull.  The Lesser Black-backed Gull eventually flew to a larger group below the dam's walkway.  It was too far to walk so I could not identify the gulls there.  A possible Glaucous Gull was with them, but I did not record it as such.

A ventured west over to Quincy Reservoir.  It was snow covered and Gull-less.  I did not continue west to Cherry Creek Reservoir in the traffic on the snow covered roads.  No Barn Owls were found east of Murphy's Creek (subdivision) at Powhaton and Jewell (Coal Creek riparian area).

A drive around the DIA Owl Loop just before and after sunset did not find any Short-eared Owls.

Again Northeastern Colorado

December 28-30, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I went on a Christmas Count scouting trip to Northeastern Colorado.  Typical winter weather included temperatures in the 40s, winds 8+ mph, gusts sometimes to 24 mph.

December 28

We enjoyed a fantastic day at Bonny Reservoir Wildlife Area (Yuma County).  Red-bellied Woodpeckers and a Winter Wren were observed at Hale Ponds.  A red Fox Sparrow and Harris's Sparrow were found in wood piles along Yuma County Road 4.

Another Red-bellied Woodpecker and 10+ Eastern Bluebirds flew around the small town of Hale and below the Bonny Reservoir dam.

A Northern Cardinal fluttered about the old Wagon Wheel Campgrounds.

The highlight was a five owl day.  Eastern Screech-Owls at Hale and the eastern end of Bonny Reservoir, Long-eared Owls at Foster's Grove, Great Horned Owl along the south side of the old reservoir, a Northern Saw-whet Owl (undisclosed location) and a Barn Owl along County Road 4 (private property).

December 29

Bryan and I continued north to Logan County.  A Greater Prairie-Chicken was found before sunset at the southern section of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area.

The northern sections added a Northern Cardinal, two Eastern Screech-Owls, three Red-bellied Woodpeckers and ten Eastern Bluebirds to our trip list.

At Ovid Woods (Sedgwick), we found another Northern Cardinal and Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Two Eastern Screech-Owls called as we ate dinner at Roger Danka's Ranch.

December 30

Bryan and I headed back to Denver today.  Snow flurries and high winds marked the day.  We relocated a Red-bellied Woodpecker at Brush Wildlife Area.  Misses: the Eastern Screech-Owl and a reported Winter Wren.

Jackson Reservoir (Morgan) was slow.  Two Long-eared Owls (different locations) were relocated.  Dozens of American Robins did not have a Varied Thrush with them.

Two Long-eared Owls were relocated at Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Adams) about 30 minutes before sunset.  A Great Horned Owl was heard calling in the Pond # 13 area.

Cherry Creek and Castlewood Canyon State Parks

December 27, 2014

Richard Stevens:

While out doing chores, Bryan Ehlmann and I visited several State Parks.

The White-winged Scoter and a Long-tailed Duck were relocated at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).  

Later we searched unsuccessfully for Northern Saw-whet Owls at Castlewood Canyon State Park (Douglas County).  Highlight was a flock of six to eight Cedar Waxwings.

Snowy Day at the CoBus Office

December 26, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Bad weather (snow & high winds) kept us home today.  A Green-tailed Towhee, eighteen Bushtits and a White-crowned Sparrow visited our feeders.  All are uncommon in our area (especially the Green-tailed Towhee at any time, especially this time of year).

Search for a Snowy Owl, Morgan County

December 25, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Bryan & Sue Ehlmann, Rebecca and I drove to Morgan County going after a Snowy Owl report.  Joel and Terry Leyton reported seeing the bird twice on 12/24.  First sighting was near Weld County Roads 95 & 62; later they saw it again near CR 97 & 52.  Unfortunately, we could not find one today.

After an early lunch in Fort Morgan, we drove over to Brush Wildlife Area (Morgan).  We relocated the male Red-bellied Woodpecker and the resident Eastern Screech-Owl.

Long-eared Owls and an Eastern Screech-Owl were nice consolation sightings back at Jackson Reservoir (Morgan County).

Beware of deteriorating roads as a snowstorm hit the Front Range.

Wonderful Hike at Aurora Reservoir and Return to Cherry Creek Reservoir

December 24, 2014

Richard Stevens:

I celebrated this fantastic Colorado winter day by walking the 8.7 mile trail circling Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe County).  Conditions were quite different than yesterday's 24+ mph winds.  Winds were calm and temperatures were in the high 40s.

Highlights included the Glaucous Gull, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and three Thayer's Gulls.  Hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls, dozens of California Gulls and Herring Gulls were also around the lake.  Several Ross's Geese were among the thousands of White-cheeked Geese; however, I did not pick out a Greater White-fronted Goose today.

I then drove the 8 miles to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) hoping to confirm a second Glaucous Gull in the area.  Unfortunately, I did not find any uncommon gulls among the few gulls at the reservoir.  I did relocate the White-winged Scoter that has been around since at least 11/20.  Bob Righter found it earlier in the day.  Another highlight was a adult female type Long-tailed Duck.  She was just 15 feet off the parking area at the northeast marina.  Of course, I did not have my camera.  Never fails, I carry it for days and never take a photo.  Then when I need it, ....................

I continued enjoying the beautiful day with a drive around the DIA Owl Loop.  Calm and mild winds floated a serene feeling over the rolling hills west and north of the airport.  Five Northern Harriers glided low over the fields.  Unfortunately, no Short-eared Owls appeared tonight.

Eventually I had to return home to the noisy ruckos of Christmas.

Return to Arapahoe County Reservoirs

December 23, 2014

 Richard Stevens:

I stopped by Arapahoe County reservoirs while out during chores.  Winds made putting up a scope quite difficult.

At Cherry Creek Reservoir, a Glaucous Gull stood on an ice shelf at the southern side of the lake.  Winds were steady at 14 mph, gusts to 23 mph.  The only ducks close enough to shore to identify were Common Goldeneyes and American Coots.

At Aurora Reservoir, a Lesser Black-backed Gull stood with 200+ Ring-billed Gulls at the swim beach.  Anemometer reading was steady at 24 mph, gusts to 39 mph.  Scoping the lake was impossible.
December 23, 2014

I stopped by Arapahoe County reservoirs while out during chores.  Winds made putting up a scope quite difficult.

At Cherry Creek Reservoir, a Glaucous Gull stood on an ice shelf at the southern side of the lake.  Winds were steady at 14 mph, gusts to 23 mph.  The only ducks close enough to shore to identify were Common Goldeneyes and American Coots.

At Aurora Reservoir, a Lesser Black-backed Gull stood with 200+ Ring-billed Gulls at the swim beach.  Anemometer reading was steady at 24 mph, gusts to 39 mph.  Scoping the lake was impossible.

I stopped by Arapahoe County reservoirs while out during chores.  Winds made putting up a scope quite difficult.

At Cherry Creek Reservoir, a Glaucous Gull stood on an ice shelf at the southern side of the lake.  Winds were steady at 14 mph, gusts to 23 mph.  The only ducks close enough to shore to identify were Common Goldeneyes and American Coots.

At Aurora Reservoir, a Lesser Black-backed Gull stood with 200+ Ring-billed Gulls at the swim beach.  Anemometer reading was steady at 24 mph, gusts to 39 mph.  Scoping the lake was impossible.

Brief Trip to Utah Park

December 22, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Before the snowstorm I drove over to Utah Park (Arapahoe County) to take some photos for a "Colorado Field Notes" article.  Surprisingly, few geese were at the park today or over at the Overland High School football field.

A few Ring-billed Gulls stood around the ponds at the lake.  Two White-crowned Sparrows fluttered about the willows lining the northern trail.

Photos on Colorado Birding Society's photo library later tonight.

Another Trip to Northeastern Colorado

December 17 to 21, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I made another trip to northeastern Colorado.

December 17

A stop at Boyd Ponds outside of Fort Morgan (Morgan County) produced the highlight of the day.  A Winter Wren was along the South Platte River (behind Log Lane Village).

The resident Red-bellied Woodpecker and Eastern Screech-Owl were relocated at Brush Wildlife Area.  A previously reported Winter Wren was not found.

Our birding day ended with a couple of hour drive around the southern section of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan County).

First, we encountered a Greater Prairie-Chicken along County Road 93 (between CR 44 & 46).  This has been a successful location in past years.

While searching for Short-eared Owls north of CR 46/east of CR 93 (Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area) we observed another Greater Prairie-Chicken walking leisurely across the field below the hill at CR 46 & CR 89.

December 18

Bryan Ehlmann, Roger Danka and I stopped at several private ranches in Sedgwick County this morning.  Long-eared Owls (2 & 1, separate locations) and a Harris's Sparrow were found.

A walk around Depoorter Lake (Sedgwick) did not find any Field or White-throated Sparrows today.  A Harris's Sparrow was along the South Platte River.

In the afternoon we relocated an Eastern Screech-Owl at the north side of Jumbo Reservoir and Long-eared Owls between Jumbo Reservoir and Red Lion Wildlife Area (Logan County).  At sunset, a Short-eared Owl flew around the fields south of Jumbo (Sedgwick).

December 19

Our trip continued with visits to several ranches in Logan County.  American Woodcocks had been recorded at two of them in past years.  No one has found one yet this winter.

Jumbo Reservoir (Logan/Sedgwick) is ice covered.  Few gulls, only Ring-billed were found.  The highlight was a Snow Bunting that flew over several times and landed east of the southern restroom area.

Our birding day ended at Sedgwick Draw (Sedgwick).  No Short-eared Owls appeared tonight.  Sedgwick Cemetery only had a few White-crowned Sparrows (Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Harris's Sparrow reported in past trips).

December 20

Our last day in Logan/Sedgwick Counties, Bryan and I spent the day around Sterling (Logan).  Overland and Pioneer Parks had few birds.  No Eastern Screech-Owls responded to our recordings.

A couple of hours were expended at North Sterling Reservoir in search of Snow Buntings; without success.  Like most of the lakes in Colorado, it was also ice covered.  A Short-eared Owl flew out of the trees when we hiked the southern side of the lake. 

Misses: no Barn Owls could be found this trip.

December 21

Bryan and I said goodbye to Roger and started south to Bonny Reservoir (Yuma).  We drove Yuma County 45 before sunrise in search of a Greater Prairie-Chicken; without success.

An Eastern Screech-Owl was found/relocated at a friend's home west of Wray.

Before the day was over, we enjoyed a five-owl day.  Long-eared Owls were at Foster's Grove, Bonny Reservoir Wildlife Area.  Great Horned Owls were at Wagon Wheel picnic area.  A Northern Saw-whet Owl at an undisclosed location and a Short-eared Owl was perched in the riparian area at Wagon Wheel.  Misses: the resident Barn Owl(s) did not show up at a friend's nearby ranch (for a six-owl day).

Bryan and I walked a three mile streak of the Republican River at Hale Ponds (one of my favorite loops) and found a Red-bellied Woodpecker and Eastern Bluebirds.  An Eastern Screech-Owl called without prompting at Hale Ponds.  No uncommon sparrows encountered this trip.

We ended our day at Flagler Reservoir (Kit Carson County).  A Swamp Sparrow was observed below the dam at the north end of the lake.  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

Restful Afternoon at Cherry Creek Reservoir

December 16, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Today I sat at the Lake Loop at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County) for about 4.5 hours.  Afternoon light lit up the thousands of ducks in the center of the lake.  I tried to look at each bird, of course not totally possible.  The first two times I scanned the entire huge raft of ducks.  The third pass focused on just the front edge.

While scoping the raft, an adult Bald Eagle flew over and mixed the birds up when they flew around.  Low numbers of Western and Eared Grebes were a surprise as their numbers dominated in the past few trips.

Uncommon birds found included one Long-tailed Duck, two Greater Scaup, a Barrow's Goldeneye and five Red-breasted Mergansers.

Misses included the White-winged Scoter, additional Long-tailed Ducks, additional scoters and Red-necked Grebe(s).

Gulls numbered in the thousands.  No Bonaparte's Gulls were picked out.  Three Thayer's Gulls and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls were identified among the many gulls most of which were quite far from the shore.  The identified gulls were standing on ice between the Lake Loop and the southwest marina.

On the way home, I drove the DIA Owl Loop.  A sighting of Dave King and a Short-eared Owl was my reward for the detour.

Successful Birding at Chatfield Reservoir

December 15, 2014

Richard Stevens:

I drove down to Chatfield State Park (Jefferson/Douglas) to get a look at the Yellow-billed Loon that had been reported for several days. 

Scoping from the swim beach and Massey Draw did not find the bird and I headed over to the fishing dock west of the southern marina.  From there I took the paved path west to below the Campgrounds.

The Yellow-billed Loon was just 10 yards off the shore (photos on the Colorado Birding Society's website:

Scoping the lake to the west, I could see the Red-necked Grebe that has been at the lake for over a month!  He was loosely associated with a raft of Western Grebes. 

Several Common Loons were below the dam's tower to the north!  A Barrow's Goldeneye was also in the area.

Later I drove north of C470 to South Platte Park.  Fourteen Greater Scaup and four Lesser Scaup swam around Eaglewatch Lake.

No owls appeared on the DIA Owl Loop (Adams) this evening.

Return from Jackson County to Arapahoe County

December 14, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I returned from Jackson County.  Thanks to the eight birders who helped with the Colorado State Forest and Rabbit Ears Pass Christmas Counts.  Weather Friday and Saturday was excellent.  We enjoyed some good bird sightings including multiple Boreal Owls, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Long-eared Owl and Great Horned Owl.  Greater Sage-Grouse were found at five locations, American Three-toed Woodpeckers at six.  Four of us saw White-winged Crossbills (one pair) on Rabbit Ears Pass yesterday.  Others were not able to relocate them later in the afternoon.  Without a long snowshoe trip, they are probably not going to be found again.  Final results will be posted in January's "Colorado Field Notes".

We left Jackson County shortly after sunrise to avoid the coming snowstorms.  A dozen Rosy Finches and a pair of Pine Grosbeak were at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center feeders.

Back in Denver, while doing chores I stopped at Arapahoe County Reservoirs.  I was waiting to hear about a Yellow-billed Loon sighting at Chatfield Reservoir.  However, visibility today was poor.  If the Yellow-billed Loon was relocated, I did not hear about it in time to travel the extra 20 miles.

Visibility was better at Aurora Reservoir but still not great.  I was able to find the Glaucous Gull and several Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  The majority of birds were too far into the fog for an ID. 

Then I hustled over to Cherry Creek Reservoir to see if I could find another Glaucous Gull (confirm two in the county?).  Visibility was poor.  I managed to see two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and one Bonaparte's Gull.  Duck-wise I saw one Long-tailed Duck but none of the other uncommon ducks.

I drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams County) on the way home and was rewarded with a Short-eared Owl sighting.  Many times during a snow storm, the Short-eared Owls will hunt before sunrise.  Today one perched on one of those plastic green road markers along 114th avenue, just east of the west end of the DIA runways.

Ten Days in North Park

December 4 to 14, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I headed to Jackson County to scout and count Christmas Counts over the next week.

December 4, 2014

We stopped at several birding locations in Larimer County on the trip up to Cameron Pass.

A quick stop at 88th avenue and Colorado Blvd (South Platte Birding Area) found a pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes south of 88th avenue.

Lake Loveland was a great stop.  We relocated the Red-necked Grebe and Bonaparte's Gulls.

One of the Greater White-fronted Geese continued at Prospect Ponds Natural Area.

The seven Tundra Swans were still on Rawhide Reservoir.

After dark, we found Boreal Owls west of Cameron Pass restroom pullover (Jackson) and south of the Crags Campgrounds.

December 5

Snowed again today, we drove over to the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center at sunrise and before the snowstorm.  Eighteen+ Rosy Finches (no Blacks) came to the feeder.  Other birds included Pine Siskins, Mountain Chickadees, Pine Grosbeaks and Steller's Jays.

The male American Three-toed Woodpecker was relocated north of highway 14 (north of Visitor's Center).

The rest of the day, we watched the falling snow from our warm cabin.

December 6

Snow and high winds continued.  Again early in the morning, we watched Rosy Finches and the usual birds at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center feeders.  I cross-country skied up County Road 21 without finding much of interest.

When the snows lessen in the afternoon, we visited a friend's ranch.  She had 600+ Rosy Finches coming to her feeders.  All three species were represented (480 Gray-crowned, 110 Brown-capped, and 10 Black).

It was too windy for any successful owling attempts.

December 7, 2014

Rebecca and I snow shoed the Zimmerman Lake Loop Trail (Larimer) today.  Temperatures were in the lows 30s, winds were calm.  We found a pair of White-winged Crossbills just before reaching the junction in the trail.

Back at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center, we relocated an American Three-toed Woodpecker north of highway 14.  Only a few Rosy Finches visited the feeders in the afternoon.

December 8

Snowed most of the day, stopped briefly at Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center and found 20+ Rosy Finches (no Blacks).

December 9

The weather finally cleared today.  Rebecca and I drove through the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (Jackson) searching for Gyrfalcons; without success.

A Greater Sage-Grouse was encountered on the Refuge (along the first road west of the Visitor's Center).

Nine Rough-legged Hawks were the raptor of the day.  Two Golden Eagles were nice sightings.

December 10

After the roads cleared late in the morning, Rebecca and I drove to Steamboat Springs (mainly to replenish supplies).

A female American Three-toed Woodpecker responded to a recording played along the road to the maintenance shed.  She allowed us five minute views before disappearing back into the woods.

Several dozen Red Crossbills flew back and forth.  Unfortunately, none was White-winged Crossbills.

On the way back to Gould, we heard Boreal Owls at two stops along Rabbit Ears Pass (Jackson & Grand).

December 11

Another snowy day with high winds.  We stopped by the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center and watched the usual suspects including 12 Rosy Finches (no Black).

Most of the day was spent in our warm cabin.  Winds were too strong to go owling.

December 12

Colorado State Forest Christmas Count:

Winds died down around 1:00 am and I went out for a walk at Cameron Pass (Jackson).  Joined by the Ehlmanns, Washburn & Simmons we heard a Boreal Owl west of Cameron Pass.  It was not persuaded to come into view.

Several additional stops along highway 14 were also unsuccessful.

After sunrise, we relocated an American Three-toed Woodpecker north of the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center and highway 14.

About thirty Rosy Finches (no Black) came to the Visitor's Center feeders.

American Three-toed Woodpeckers were found at three locations.  Twelve Greater Sage-Grouse were found at five locations (all previously staked out). The highlight was a Long-eared Owl found near the Colorado State Forest boundary!


Sharp-tailed Grouse were later found in Steamboat Springs (Routt).  On the way back to Gould, a Boreal Owl was relocated on Rabbit Ears Pass (Jackson).

December 13

Rabbit Ears Pass Christmas Count:

Six of us watched before sunrise, 12+ Rosy Finches at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center.

Rabbit Ears Pass (Jackson/Grand) provided the highlights today.  We encountered three American Three-toed Woodpeckers, a pair of White-winged Crossbills (with 60+ Red Crossbills) and a Northern Pygmy-Owl (up maintenance shed road).

Two Boreal Owls were heard on Rabbit Ears Pass (one in Jackson County, one in Grand County).

Later we found a Boreal Owl up Ruby Jewell Road.  All were able to see that one!  Another Boreal Owl was heard 0.2 miles west of Cameron Pass.

Fantastic Day in Arapahoe County

December 2, 2014

Richard Stevens:

I enjoyed this marvelous day with the 8.7 mile, five hour hike around Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe County).  Winds were calm; temperatures reached into the 60s.

Tens of thousands of White-cheeked Geese with half a dozen Snow Geese and two Ross's Geese swan back and forth across the lake.  At least one Greater White-fronted Goose defended that species count.

 Gulls numbered over 20,000.  They were in groups at the swim beach, the cove at mile 3.0, at the scuba beach and the northwest corner of the lake. 

Hundreds more were scattered all over the lake.  Throughout the day, they would fly over to the nearby DADS (Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site) and return.  Exact numbers were difficult to pin down.

Ducks were represented by Mallards, Gadwalls, Ruddy Ducks, American Wigeons, a few Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks and Common Goldeneyes. 

All three mergansers were recorded.  Most interesting were a Long-tailed Duck, Surf Scoter (perhaps more than one) and Barrow's Goldeneye.

Uncommon gulls included three Thayer's Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and an adult Mew Gull.  It is quite possible that these gulls move back and forth to nearby Cherry Creek Reservoir (about 8 miles to the west).

Misses: The previously reported Great Black-backed Gull was not found.

Afterwards, I ended by birding day back at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).  Winds picked up there (8 mph anemometer reading).  The temperature dropped rapidly at sunset.

Uncommon ducks included the two Long-tailed Ducks and a female Barrow's Goldeneye.  They were quite difficult to pick out in the large raft of ducks in the western middle of the lake. 

Numbers change day to day, Eared Grebe numbers have dropped much in the past week.  Hooded Merganser numbers have increased ten fold.  Only a few Western Grebes, no Clark's were found today.

Uncommon gulls included a Lesser Black-backed Gull and Thayer's Gull.

Misses: the White-winged Scoter which I last saw yesterday; the Glaucous Gull which has not been reported for seven days now (it was not at Aurora Reservoir either).

Overall, it was quite an enjoyable and pleasant day of birding!

Back In Denver

December 1, 2014

Richard Stevens:

On the return from Julesburg today by way of I76, we chose to search for the Winter Wren at Brush Wildlife Area (Morgan County) instead of Prewitt Reservoir.  Unfortunately, it was not found.  A Red-bellied Woodpecker and the resident Eastern Screech-Owl were consolation sightings.

After a quick stop at Jackson Reservoir (Morgan), I dropped Bryan off in Brighton and headed to Denver West Office Complex (Jefferson County).   The Pine Warbler (Chavez, 11/30) was first observed in the fir tree on the east side of Cole Blvd where the irrigation ditch runs under it.

The Pine Warbler then flew to the southeast corner of building # 6.  It fluttered about the pines and was loosely associated with four Mountain Chickadees, two Black-capped Chickadees, two Red-breasted Nuthatches and a White-breasted Nuthatch.

Afterwards, I drove to Red Rocks Park hoping for better photos of the uncommon birds there.  Unfortunately, only the Harris's Sparrow appeared during my one hour stay.

The birding day ended at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).  I arrived about 30 minutes before sunset.  My favorite spot to scope the lake is along the Cherry Creek dam trail about halfway between the southwest marina and the dam tower.

White-winged Scoter was found in the large raft of waterfowl about 100 yards to the east.  Gulls on the poles lining the marina included an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Thayer's Gull.

I parked along the Lakeview Drive at 100 yards west of where Cherry Creek goes under the road.  No Short-eared Owls appeared over the cattail fields today. 
November 27 to 30, 2014

Richard Stevens:

Bryan and I returned to northeastern Colorado.  Temperatures remained cold, low 30s; winds were 10+ mph most of our trip.

November 27

We enjoyed the day at Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan County).  Highlights included:
Northern Cardinal, five Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Eastern Screech-Owl, Field Sparrow and Eastern Bluebirds.

November 28

Today Bryan and I visited Jumbo Reservoir.  Highlights included: two Rusty Blackbirds below Logan County Road 93; Red-bellied Woodpecker, two Long-eared Owls (between Jumbo Reservoir and Red Lion Wildlife Area); an Eastern Screech-Owl.

A Greater White-fronted Goose was at Red Lion Wildlife Area.  No Short-eared Owl showed up this evening.

November 29

Bryan Ehlmann, Roger Danka and I visited five private ranches in Sedgwick & Logan Counties today.

Highlights included: seven Long-eared Owls (over two locations), Harris's Sparrow, Fox Sparrow and two Eastern Screech-Owls (over two locations).

A Northern Cardinal and Red-bellied Woodpecker were in Ovid Woods (Sedgwick).  A Purple Finch was found at a friend's feeder in Ovid.

A Greater Prairie-Chicken was seen around sunset in the Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area southern section, west of Logan County Road 93 (north of CR 46).

November 30

Bryan, Roger and I birded mostly in the Julesburg area today (Sedgwick County).

Two Rusty Blackbirds were found walking along the S. Platte River at the Julesburg Wayside Rest Stop.  It was not a bad sighting; we would have preferred an American Woodcock.

Farther west of the bridge at the Julesburg Wayside Rest Stop, we found a Winter Wren at Julesburg Wayside Rest Stop.  We waited a good 20 minutes to obtain good looks and more important hear the Stub-tailed Wren.  It was quick certainly a Winter Wren (Pacific Wren for Sedgwick County would have been a superb find).

At DePoorter Lake (Sedgwick) two Harris's Sparrows were in the willows along the South Platte River.  Again no American Woodcocks.

At Pony Express Wildlife Area, we saw a male Red-bellied Woodpecker in the cottonwoods along the S. Platte River.

Sedgwick Bar Wildlife Area added only a few White-crowned Sparrows to our trip list.