Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Birding Across Denver Area

September 30, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I left home at 5:00 am.  Birding on the west side of town, coming from east of DIA requires navigating the multitude of cars on Interstate 70.

We found a Burger King on Wadsworth Blvd open for breakfast and then headed to Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge (Jefferson County).  The Refuge does not open until 8:00 am; instead, we walked the various canals south and west of the NWR. 

It turned out to be the better birding.  At a Hackberry Bush along the Farmer's High Line Canal (300 yards south of the footbridge between the Pond Area and Prairie Area of the Refuge, we counted three male, two female Spotted Towhees and a Gray Catbird.

Along the Croke Canal, which runs along the southern border of the refuge, a flock of 10-12 Yellow-rumped Warblers, one Orange-crowned Warbler and two Black-capped Chickadees fluttered about one of the taller trees just south of the Refuge gate.

The highlight bird was a Northern Waterthrush.  It was along the narrow inlet stream into the Croke Canal (about 200 yards west of the Refuge gate).

The Pond area of the Refuge was a disappointment.  Only a pair of Wilson's Warblers was found (in the willows along the south side of the pond).

NOTE: Two Ponds National Wildlife Area, Ponds area is closed from October 1st to April 30.  This area has not provided many bird sightings in 2015.  The Prairie Area is open year round and trails can be accessed from Kipling & 80th avenue or better yet, 77th avenue (parking).

Next, we stopped at Heron Pond Wildlife Refuge (Denver County).  An hour walk around the property found a Wilson's Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, six Chipping Sparrows and a dozen or so Vesper Sparrows.

Continuing east, we stopped at Cheesman Park (Denver).  A possible Philadelphia Vireo was reported on 9/23 and again on 9/29.  We could not find the bird during an hour or so search.

Eight Yellow-rumped Warblers and an Orange-crowned Warbler were in the willows near the parking area next to the northern gate to the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Our next stop was the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  Two Sage Thrashers continue along the western side of the bison enclosure.

Tonight we will conduct our not so annual Eastern Screech-Owl count in Denver.  It was rained out last night.

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