Saturday, April 11, 2015

Trip to Pawnee National Grasslands

April 8, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I headed up to Pawnee National Grasslands (Weld County) on this beautiful spring day.  Mountain Plovers were our target birds.

Crow Valley Campground was quiet.  Still no House Wrens, orioles or flycatchers have arrived.

We found a Mountain Plover at a traditional nesting area!  Burrowing Owls were scarce (only found one).

A Prairie Falcon was on the fence along County Road 114.  We then hiked the field at the southeast corner of Highway 85 and CR 114.  My route is to walk toward the windmill to the southeast.  Seldom do I have to go all the way before finding a Chestnut-collared Longspur.  Today we made it about 2/3 the way before a colorful male in breeding plumage flew up and performed his mating ritual.

We opted not to continue to Fort Collins to see the Long-tailed Ducks at the Walmart Pond.  Dealing with the traffic is just worth it.

Instead, we headed south to Lower Latham Reservoir (Weld).  Unfortunately, no shorebirds were found along County Road 48.  The Long-billed Curlew appeared to leave the Beebe Draw Ponds area.

Birding was slow on our return to Denver.

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