Sunday, May 10, 2015

Jackson Reservoir and Barr Lake

May 9, 2015

Richard Stevens:

There was a downfall of birds at Barr Lake this afternoon.  I walked around in the rain for three hours and found the following.  BTW, some of my most successful/enjoyable birding days have been during rain.
Birds counted from the Visitor's Center footbridge to the Pioneer Trail, 1.0 miles away. 
Seven male, three female Spotted Towhees
Four Green-tailed Towhees
1st year Bullock's Oriole
two Western Kingbirds

A Mississippi Kite flying overhead was quite a surprise.  Mississippi Kites have only been reported twice other times in Adams County.  Both those sightings were at Eastlake Reservoir # 3.

(I found out later that a Mississippi Kite was seen flying over Cherry Creek State Park in Arapahoe County about seven hours earlier (2nd county record).  The Barr Lake bird may have been the same bird (it is only 20 miles between the two reservoirs).

Continuing Northeast along the main road, several birds were found in one of the taller willow trees near the banding station (mile 8.5)
Cassin's Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Warbling Vireo

Several birds moved about low to ground around gooseberry bushes at mile 8.3
Hooded Warbler
Spotted Towhee
Green-tailed Towhee

Just before reaching the Pioneer Trail (mile 8.1) another "group" of birds were encountered. 
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warblers (9)
Black-throated Gray Warbler

I then walked down the pioneer trail to the bird blind.  Assuming it was the female Osprey on the platform nest to the west, the male was in the tree just off the bird blind.

While returning to footbridge, I spotted a Brown Thrasher at mile 8.9.  Its face was quite gray; the thought that it could be a Long-billed Thrasher came to mind.  The bill appeared longish; however, with no comparison in regard to size, no conclusions could be drawn.  With additional looks, the color of the thrasher leaned toward calling it a Brown Thrasher.

After reaching the footbridge, I continued southwest on the Niedrach boardwalk trail.  Just south of the footbridge a male Wilson's Warbler, Hermit Thrush and two Orange-crowned Warblers fluttered about the cottonwoods.

At the southwest end of the boardwalk at the footbridge, a male Common Yellowthroat popped out of the brush.  A Dusky Flycatcher was another 100 yards to the southwest.

Once at the boardwalk, I observed a Western Wood-pewee and another Common Yellowthroat.  My hike continued to the southwest end of the boardwalk and another 200 yards to the willow field.  A third Common Yellowthroat was encountered there.

I looked closely at the water's edge while peering through the willows.  Movement along the shore proved to be that of a Northern Waterthrush at southwest end of footbridge.

Rain continued to get heavier and I ended my birding day.  It was assumed that no Burrowing or Short-eared Owls would be out during the downpour.

Earlier in the day, Bob Varnon and I drove out to Jackson Reservoir in Morgan County.  We enjoyed several uncommon bird sightings. Weather was better than I found later at Barr Lake.

Birds found
Red-necked Phalaropes
Wilson's Phalaropes
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Spotted Towhees
Green-tailed Towhee
Plumbeous Vireo
Common Yellowthroat
American Robins, dozens
Plumbeous Vireo
Yellow-rumped Warblers
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
White-throated Sparrow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak
Eastern Screech-Owl
Long-eared Owl
Great Horned Owl
Bonaparte's Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Franklin's Gulls

At Andrick Wildlife Area
American Bittern

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