Sunday, September 20, 2015

A three Sabine's Gull Day (3 locations)

September 20, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I enjoyed this early fall birding day with Sabine's Gulls at three reservoirs.  We started at Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas Counties).  We missed the Sabine's Gull and Red Phalarope at the marina sand spit, plum creek delta and the heronry overlook.  Then found both the juvenile Sabine's Gull and Red Phalarope from the swim beach area.

While searching for the two target birds we found some nice birds.  In the woods just west of the handicapped fisherperson dock our conservative count was 49 Yellow-rumped Warblers.  Loosely associated with these warblers were a Cassin's Vireo, Plumbeous Vireo and four Black-capped Chickadees.

In the willows along the shore from the marina sand spit area to Plum Creek delta we counted another 18 Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Cassin's Vireo.

At the Heronry overlook we found a Rock Wren, late House Wren and an American Redstart.

Our next stop was Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).  A Sabine's Gull flew below the dam.  We did not look elsewhere, instead headed to Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).  We entered from the south side and scoped the many gulls at mile 1.0, 2.0 and the cove at 3.0.  Our third Sabine's Gull of the day was at the mile3.0 cove.

We headed for home by way of the Arapahoe County Road 97-East Yale Avenue route.  A flock of 28 Brewer's Sparrows was quite interesting.  Dozens of Vesper Sparrows, two Rock Wrens and an unidentified flycatcher were along E. Yale Avenue.  Two Sage Thrashers were west of the last house down Yale before it runs into Smith Road (the extreme right turn).

We drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams) just before sunset.  Only one Burrowing Owl was around the prairie dog town at 3.4 miles east of Tower Road & 96th avenue (hence will be called 3rd Creek prairie dog town).

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

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