Monday, February 2, 2015

Trip to Eastern Colorado

January 29-30, 2015

Richard Stevens:

January 27

On our way to Northeastern Colorado, Bryan Ehlmann and I stopped at Banner Lake Wildlife Area (Weld County).  We walked around the Wildlife Area for several hours, eventually finding four Long-eared Owls.  Not much else was flying around today.

Our next stop, Jackson Reservoir (Morgan) six Long-eared Owls and an Eastern Screech-Owl were added to our trip list.

Fort Morgan Ponds (Morgan) has hosted American Woodcocks several times in the past.  Regrettably, none was found today.  A White-throated Sparrow flew around with a flock of 10-12 White-crowned Sparrows.

Brush Wildlife Area (Morgan) did not provide a Winter Wren sighting today.  We did see three Red-bellied Woodpeckers and the resident Eastern Screech-Owl.

Our birding day ended at Prewitt Reservoir (Logan/Washington).  Eastern Screech-Owls responded to our recordings (below the dam and at the inlet canal area).

January 28

Another great winter day in Colorado.  Bryan and I walked Ovid Woods (Sedgwick County) and relocated a Red-bellied Woodpecker (northern end) and Northern Cardinal (southern end).  A Purple Finch continues to visit feeders in Ovid!

Later we walked over to the Ovid Sewage Ponds and relocated two White-throated Sparrows found a few weeks earlier.  The previously reported Harris's Sparrows could not be found.

At private ranches in Sedgwick County, we added three Long-eared Owls, five Long-eared Owls, a Harris's Sparrow (visiting a feeder) and five Eastern Screech-Owls.

No Short-eared Owls appeared at Sedgwick Draw this evening.

January 29

It was another superb winter day in Colorado.  Bryan and I walked around Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan) in the morning.

We found five Red-bellied Woodpeckers, a Northern Cardinal (western section), and Eastern Screech-Owl (eastern section).  Misses included any uncommon sparrows, the Eastern Towhee found last month, and Eastern Bluebirds also found last month.

Jumbo Reservoir (Logan/Sedgwick) provided the highlight of the day.  A Winter Wren was heard and observed below Logan County Road 95.  Two Long-eared Owls were in the windbreak between Jumbo Reservoir & Red Lion Wildlife Area.

At sunset we watched a Short-eared Owl fly over the field below CR 2, south end of Julesburg Wildlife Area.  Later, an Eastern Screech-Owl responded to our recordings played at the north end.

January 30
Bryan and I heard an Eastern Screech-Owl before sunrise at Hale Ponds.  Later we found two Red-bellied Woodpeckers and five Eastern Bluebirds between Hale Ponds and the Kansas border.

Bryan and I found two Eastern Screech-Owls along the Republican River (trickle) east of Highway 385.  Two Long-eared Owls were hidden well at the Foster's Grove windbreak (guess not quite well enough)!  A male Northern Cardinal stood out in the drab brown and yellow winter landscape.  Ten Wild Turkeys walked the clear west of the old Campgrounds.

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