Sunday, October 18, 2015

Shorebirds and Cranes at Barr Lake

October 17, 2015

Saturday afternoon I walked around the Visitor's Center side of Barr Lake (Adams County).  Winds were out of the southeast at 18 mph, gusts to 24 mph; high temperature reached 79 degrees.

While I did not find the two White-throated Sparrows reported Friday near the banding station, a Warbling Vireo was found below the banding table.

Two guys were fishing at the end of the peninsula where I found the Black-bellied Plover yesterday; so I did not attempt to look.  Instead, I walked southwest to the Niedrach boardwalk.  Two Spotted Sandpipers popped up from the plants along the shore.

Hundreds of Sandhill Cranes were flying in to the shore just south of the boardwalk.  At the shore just west of the stationary scope, a flock of shorebirds wandered back and forth.  The flock included twenty two Long-billed Dowitchers, nineteen Baird's Sandpipers, two Least Sandpipers, two Greater Yellowlegs, one Sanderling and the Black-bellied Plover.  Eventually they flew to the island to the northwest.

Sandhill Cranes continued to fly in when I departed.  A conservative count was 900-1000.  I did not have my scope and skipped trying to figure out the birds on the lake.

Next, I drove to Gun Club Road south of 112th avenue.  No Burrowing Owls or Prairie Dogs were around at the village 1.6 miles south of 112th.  Two Ferruginous Hawks standing on the prairie dog mounds did not invite any other wildlife activity.

Finally, I scoped the prairie dog village at third Creek & Quency Street (formerly called the village at 3.4 miles east of Tower Road & 96th avenue).  No Burrowing Owls however plenty of raptors.  Five Ferruginous Hawks, three Rough-legged Hawks, two Red-tailed Hawks and seven Northern Harriers were in the area.  Yesterday, there had been no Rough-legged Hawks, but two Swainson's Hawks.

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening as I watched the fields to the east until civil twilight (about 21 minutes after sunset).

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