Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lowell Ponds Wildlife Area and Chatfield Reservoir

September 13, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I headed down to Chatfield Reservoir by way of Lowell Ponds Wildlife Area (Adams).

Some outrageous shorebirds were reported yesterday at Lowell Ponds.  We hiked around each of the five ponds.  Unfortunately, we found no exposed shore for the shorebirds to wander.

We enjoyed the walk around the relatively flat Wildlife Area.  We hoped to run into Bob Canter who once birded the area quite often.  He was a no show today.  This small Wildlife Area had many small ponds and thick riparian areas around the ponds and along Clear Creek.

The trip was not a waste.  Starting with the northern side, a Cassin's Vireo was found in the cottonwoods between the two northeastern ponds.  We continued west to Tennyson Street, crossed Clear Creek and returned east to the parking area.

A Plumbeous Vireo was along the south side of Clear Creek at 400 yards east of Tennyson.  The large pond just west of the parking area was our best hope for shorebirds.  Again, there was no open shore; weeds grew right to the water line.

While trying to photograph two Orange-crowned Warblers along the west side of the pond, we noticed a Northern Waterthrush walking along the dead branches in the water.  The warblers were near the only Russian Olive tree that hung over the dirt path.

Two Gray Catbirds were at the southwest corner of the pond.  A Western Wood-pewee (late) hawked insects up the hill south of the pond.

Next, we drove south to Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas) to search for a Worm-eating Warbler reported yesterday.

Eventually we hiked a mile upstream of Kingfisher Bridge and both the east and west sides of the South Platte River.

On the east side, we ran into a Blackpoll Warbler about 40 yards south of the end of the cement path.  Few other birds were found.  When we reached the "Worm-eating Warbler spot", I played a recording and received a three second response by the Worm-eating Warbler.  Unfortunately, we were not able to entice the bird out of the thickets.

On the west side, we walked down to the "old White-eyed Vireo spot".  No vireos were around today (also no Yellow-billed Cuckoos).  We did see a Black-and-white Warbler about 30 yards south of the end of the paved path.

After a late lunch at Morrison Inn, we drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams).  Burrowing Owls were spotted along third Creek and along Gun Club Road, south of 112th avenue.

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