Thursday, November 12, 2015

Birding Arapahoe County Reservoirs and Some Owling

November 12, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Around noon today, I made a brief stop at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County).  I found nothing from the Mountain Loop or Lake Loop, and then stopped at the northeast boat ramp.

From the boat ramp, I saw the Pacific Loon, one Common Loon and had a flyby Bonaparte's Gull.  No scoters were observed.

Next, I drove out to Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) and made the long slow 1.2 mile walk down to mile 2.5.  At least four thousand gulls stood on the shore.  No big white gulls, one black backed Gull too small for a Great Black-backed Gull (it was later identified as a Lesser Black-backed Gull).

The gulls flew when a person in a canoe decided to dock his boat on the point.  The flight of the gulls was quite impressive, but ended my Gull search.

The highlight of the worthwhile hike was a Red-necked Grebe.  The bird swam next to a Western Grebe and an Eared Grebe; that offered a great comparison of size of all three.

A Surf Scoter swam around in the cove at mile 3.0.   I scoped the lake for an hour looking for additional scoters, without luck.  Thought maybe if there were two additional Surf Scoters, they may have been the three found at Cherry Creek Reservoir on Tuesday.  A Common Loon was below the northwestern corner below the dam.

At sunset, I drove to Coal Creek to do some owling.  I picked this particular area because I have seen Barn Owls flying around under the streetlights at the ranch's buildings.  The area also appears good for Short-eared Owls hunting at the back of DADS (Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site), the surrounding hills or along Coal Creek. 

On Monday, I found an Eastern Screech-Owl along Coal Creek.  Tonight another Eastern Screech-Owl responded to my recordings.  This owl was 600+ yards farther north than Monday's owl.

No Short-eared or Barn Owls tonight, perhaps one will show up on my next visit?

1 comment:

Birder Rich said...

I wanted to add and forgot. In my experience, with the exception of mating season, looking for owls in the same location on consecutive nights is seldom successful. Perhaps they are too smart to fall for recordings two nights in a row. Others may have a different experience?