Sunday, October 18, 2015

Washington Park, Barr Lake and DIA Owl Loop

October 16, 2015

Around mid morning, I headed over to Washington Park (Denver County) to look for the Chestnut-sided Warbler reported yesterday.  Talk about looking for a needle in a haystack, the park has hundreds of old tall cottonwoods.  Finding a warbler that prefers to stay high in the trees appeared to a daunting task (if the bird was even still in the park).

I never found a warbler of any type.  A pipit moving from spot to spot in the large open field section kept me running around for an hour.  It never allowed close approaches.  Identification was difficult.  Once I was close; however a dog walker beat me to the pipit and it once again flew. 

Finally, I did get close, observed the lightly streaked grayish back, and well defined grayish cheek of an American Pipit.  Sprague's Pipits have whitish streaked backs and undefined cheeks giving the birds a blank look.

Afterward, I went to Barr Lake (Adams County).  No warblers or vireos were around (12 mph winds not helping my birding).

I walk out to the northwest end of the peninsula at the banding station found a small flock of shorebirds.  These included 22 Baird's Sandpipers, 2 Least Sandpipers and a Black-bellied Plover.

Scoping the lake added a Common Loon and 2 Greater White-fronted Geese to my day list.

A check along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams) found only one Burrowing Owl at the location along Gun Club Road at 1.6 miles south of 112th avenue.  No Short-eared Owls appeared when I watched the fields along third creek until well after sunset.

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