Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Two Days of Owling In Douglas County

February 2-3, 2015

Richard Stevens:

February 2

Bryan Ehlmann and I started a short trip to the southern Front Range with a stop at the Denver West Office Complex.  The Pine Warbler was south of building four.  We hoped for a better photo than past trips; however, the Warbler stayed high in the evergreens.  We only saw brief looks of the jittery bird.

It took about 10 minutes before the Golden-crowned Sparrow appeared behind the Red Rocks Park Trading Post.

Our next stop was Highway 67 and Rampart Range Road.  It took some searching, finally the male American Three-toed Woodpecker that frequents the woods just east of the intersection was observed.

From sunset (5:22 pm) to 2:00 am, we searched for owls.  We also put out our "owl listening stations" (see "Colorado Field Notes" for description of them).

Eventually, we found three Northern Pygmy-Owls and two Northern Saw-whet Owls.  (Later, running the software on our "owl listening stations" recordings added two additional Northern Pygmy-Owls and another Northern Saw-whet Owl!

February 3

Our second goal was to try out some camping equipment owned by a friend of mine who owns a sporting goods store.  We thought our trip was planned to utilize a window of nice weather this week.  However, at around 2:00 am, it started to snow.  Moreover, it snowed and snowed!

We set up camp along Guanella Pass Road north of Grant.  A Northern Saw-whet Owl called briefly in response to a recording played just before we retired for a few hours of sleep.

We woke up to half a foot or more of new snow.  This changed our plans to drive up to Guanella Pass (for White-tailed Ptarmigan search); we returned to Denver.

After dropping Bryan off, I drove through Cherry Creek State Park (Arapahoe) and found the same situation as Jerry Petrosky also found.  Not one Gull was observed on the ice/snow covered lake.

No owls could be found when I drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams).

No comments: