Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Chatfield Reservoir Shorebirds

August 31, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Winds were less than 6 mph and temperatures in the low 60s when I arrived at Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas Counties).

A check at the marina sand spit found only one shorebird.  A Spotted Sandpiper walked the eastern side.  A few Ring-billed and California Gulls stood at the northern end.  American White Pelicans also rested there.

At the Platte River delta area, I walked north to the lake proper.  Seven species of shorebirds included a Semipalmated Plover.

As I continued north (in my new hiking boots), I encountered a small stream.  Debating for 10 minutes whether to attempt jumping the little five foot stream from virtually a dead stop, finally the wrong decision was made.  My new hiking boots were no more; covered in mud above ankles I continued north pass the stream.

My lack of common sense about my abilities to jump the five foot stream was rewarded however.  The Short-billed Dowitcher was found along the mudflats at the southwest corner of the lake.  It was not visible from any point south or east of the "roaring monster" stream.

After another flop into the muddy trickle of a stream and my return to the parking area, I walked over to the Kingfisher Bridge.  A short walk of less than hundred yards north and south of the bridge found lingering (not yet migrating) Least Flycatcher and Eastern Phoebe.

On the trip home, I detoured over to the Stonegate North Pond at the southwest corner of Arapahoe Road and 470-toll road.  The Pectoral Sandpiper was still there as were six other species of shorebirds.

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