Friday, September 11, 2015

Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge Fall Count

September 10, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I conducted the fifth annual count at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge today.  It was a cool 55 degrees when the park opened at 8:00 am; winds were less than 2 mph.

We did not need any extra help to count the birds at this 67-acre property.  We hiked the trails twice during our 2.5 hours stay (did not really need that much time).  Two Ponds is most likely the smallest National Wildlife Area in the US.

Total birds (and I mean every one): Red-winged Blackbirds (6), Barn Swallows (4), Northern Flicker (2), House Finches (2), Red-tailed Hawk (1), House Wren (1), Hermit Thrush (1), Cassin's Vireo (1), Sage Thrasher (1), Wilson's Warblers (2), Eastern Screech-Owl (1).

Misses: no other birds.  Sixty Rock Doves circled just south of the property, never entered.  Not one sparrow or House Sparrow (which is a weaver finch, not a sparrow) was seen.

On the way home in the afternoon we stopped at Grandview Ponds Open Space (Adams County).  Highlights were an out of place MacGillivray's Warbler and a late migrating young male Western Tanager.

Our birding day ended at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  Eventually we found five Sage Thrashers along the western side of the auto tour.  A Cassin's Kingbird was along the northern road of the Bison enclosure.  A Northern Mockingbird was along East 64 Avenue at First Creek.

Only one Burrowing Owl was later found along the DIA Owl Loop (at 3.4 miles east of Tower Road & 96th Avenue).  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

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