Sunday, August 2, 2015

Continued Mountain Birding

July 27-31, 2015

Richard Stevens:

July 27

Still in the mountains to avoid the 90+ degree temperatures on the plains, it was quite hot up here (84 degrees).

A first light Bryan and I drove through the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge self-auto tour.  Four Greater Sage-Grouse were observed south of Jackson County Road 13.

Sage Thrashers, Vesper Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows were quite numerous.  Shorebirds were scarce, only Killdeer were found today.

After lunch, we drove by Lake John Wildlife Area.  Nothing uncommon was found in the Wildlife Area.  Shortly after sunset, two Greater Sage-Grouse were observed walking along CR 7 (about 6.0 miles north of CR 12W.

Owls were quiet tonight along Highway 14 and Cameron Pass.  Winds were 18+ mph.  Perhaps they called and we just could not hear them.

July 28

After missing any Greater Sage-Grouse along Jackson County Roads 26 & 26b, Bryan and I drove to the end of Michigan Creek Road.  A Veery was the only uncommon bird found there.

Later we search Ruby Jewell Road missed American Three-toed Woodpeckers.  A couple of Red-naped Sapsuckers were near the clearing about 0.2 miles up the road.

A check for shorebirds at Walden Reservoir found six Red-necked Phalaropes and a lone Willet.

Back at Gould, we saw both a Calliope Hummingbird and two Rufous Hummingbirds.  A Fox Sparrow, Wilson's Warblers and a MacGillivray's Warbler were behind the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center.

 July 29, 2015

Today Bryan and I headed south to the Teller City Ghost Town.  A 4-wheel drive vehicle is suggested for the drive from Gould.  Birders without one should circle down to Rand and come back that way.

A visit to this Ghost Town that was once a busy Silver mining town is quite worth the time.  The history along the self-guided tour is interesting.

We found a male American Three-toed Woodpecker at the north end of the trail.  A Northern Pygmy-Owl responded to our recordings played at dusk.  Later we picked up our three "owl listening stations" that were placed along CR 21 earlier.  Two additional Northern Pygmy-Owls were recorded.

We camped out near Jack Creek and rested for a strenuous hike tomorrow.

 July 30

Two Boreal Owls were heard two hours before sunrise near the Jack Creek trailhead.

Our day was spent hiking the trail and to the summit of Baker Pass.  Highlight was a female White-tailed Ptarmigan accompanied by two youngsters.

We were both exhausted by the time we returned to our jeep.  High winds at dusk ended any desire to go owling.

 July 31

Bryan and I stopped at several birding locations on the way back to Denver.

Four Greater Sage-Grouse were found at MacFarlane Reservoir shortly after sunrise.

Two Dusky Grouse were the highlight during our two-hour trip to Owl Mountain Wildlife Area.

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