Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Night Owling Boulder County

May 17, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I enjoyed a four owl all night hike in Boulder County.  We walked along quite muddy trails along Boulder Creek and up Skunk Canyon by way of the Mesa South Trail system.

The major problem is where to park?  I believe the parking area at Mesa Trailhead is day use only (could be wrong)?  We have been this hike at least twice a year for the past six years.  Arrangements to park at a private driveway allow us access without trespassing.

An Eastern Screech-Owl was found as we hiked west toward the Mesa South Trailhead.  In order of discovery, we eventually found a Northern Pygmy-Owl and Flammulated Owl on the trip up and a Northern Saw-whet Owl on the return trip.

Except for slippery trails and muddy shoes, the trip was quite enjoyable.  We returned to our car just before sunrise.

After a few hours of sleep, I hiked several miles at Barr Lake (Adams).  The Barn Owl was back at the nesting box near the banding station.  Only a couple of Bullock's Orioles have returned to their nesting territories.  House Wrens and Western Wood-pewees were the most numerous birds.

An Olive-sided Flycatcher hawked insects as I walked down the Pioneer Trail.  The female Osprey (I assume) is on the nesting platform, while the male (I assume) was standing sentinel in a dead cottonwood south of the platform.

Several wet Burrowing Owls were observed along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams).  No Short-eared Owls appeared tonight.

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