Monday, August 10, 2015

Eastern Arapahoe County to Northern Elbert County

August 9, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I made the drive down to Kiowa by way of East Jewell-East Yale Loop today.

Hundreds of Chipping Sparrows were flying south E. Quebec (Arapahoe CR 22) west of CR 197.  oggerhead Shrike count was four, no curlews or Red-headed Woodpeckers today.  Four Common Nighthawks also flew over CR 22.

I use to drive to Kiowa by way of Parker Road (Hwy 83) to Hwy 86.  However, we found that Aurora Parkway to Quebec (CR 30) to Kiowa-Bennett Road (CR 137) had less traffic and more scenery.

The Kiowa-Bennett Road was quite interesting Sunday.  Dozens of Western Kingbirds lined CR 137.  A Cassin's Kingbird was found at 0.3 mile south of Orchard & 137.

At least one Dickcissel was on a telephone wire at 2.7 miles north of CR 137/CR 50 (Arapahoe County).

Two Long-billed Curlews wandered the field on the west side of CR 137 at 2.1 miles south of CR 50 (Elbert County).

Rebecca and I scoped the alfalfa field along Elbert Road at 4.1 miles south of Hwy 86 for an hour and fifteen minutes.  The farmer is starting to cut the field near its south end.  While no Dickcissels were heard, we did see one fly up four of five times.  Interestingly, it was in the cut part of the field not in the higher alfalfa plants.  Anemometer readings were 8 mph, gusts to 11 mph; winds may have kept additional Dickcissels from leaving the ground?

In the 4.1 miles along Elbert Road, we counted eight Swainson's Hawks and four Red-tailed Hawks on telephone poles.  Dozens more were along the 20 miles of Kiowa-Bennett Road.  Two Common Nighthawks flew over the alfalfa field.

We ran into thunderstorms around Kiowa (Elbert) and later around DIA (Arapahoe).  No owl sightings to report today.

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