Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rocky Mountain Arsenal to Cherry Creek Reservoir to DIA Owl Loop

November 22, 2015

Richard Stevens:

I motored over to Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County) this afternoon to search for the three Tundra Swans reported yesterday.  Unfortunately, I never found any Swans.  The temperature never quite reached 60 degrees today; but it did come close.  Winds were calm to 5 mph; it was a pleasant day to bird.

While searching for the previously reported male Barrow's Goldeneye, which was on Lake Ladora, I also spotted a Common Loon.  The many geese on Lower Derby Lake included three Snow Geese.

Looking for a place to relax and watch the sunset, Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) was chosen.  Regrettably, I forgot that weekends are not great for relaxing here.  Dozens of people including three couples with a couple of dogs each walked the swim beach. 

As a result, the gulls stayed out on the water, quite far from the swim beach.  I was again not able to find the Mew Gull reported by Glenn Walbek yesterday.  A Thayer's Gull was picked out of the hundreds of gulls between the dam tower and beach. 

Scoping the lake from the east shades picnic area; I did find the Red-throated Loon in the most eastern quadrant of the lake and a Common Loon, which stayed in the western half.  At least a dozen Bonaparte's Gulls flew around; no Little Gulls appeared to be among them.

Frustrated with all the dog walkers, I drove the DIA Owl Loop north of the airport.  No Short-eared Owls appeared tonight.  Raptors included two Ferruginous Hawks, two Red-tailed Hawks, two American Kestrels and a Rough-legged Hawk.  No unusual birds were found in the two large flocks (100+) of Horned Larks encountered.

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