Friday, November 20, 2015

Unsuccessful Search for "Myiarchus flycatcher" and Tundra Swans

November 20, 2015

Richard Stevens:

After not finding the mysterious Chatfield Botanic Gardens flycatcher, I scoped several reservoirs on the way home.  Perhaps the missing Boulder County Tundra Swans had stopped?

The morning started with temperatures in the low 40s; winds were 3 mph from 6:00 am to 11:00 am.  Shortly after 11:00 am, anemometer readings jumped to 20 mph with gusts to 39 mph.  Wow!

My approach for a search of the "Myiarchus flycatcher" at the Botanic Gardens was to scope the riparian area from sunrise (6:50 am) to 9:00 am when the Gardens opened.  Then I walked the area quickly in the next two hours.  Before setting out, I set up a "feeding station" of mealy worms and crickets.

The flycatcher did not appear.  The only guests at my feeding station were two Blue Jays.  It was worth a try.  The mini-storm front shut down my search.

I drove across Wadsworth to Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas) hoping the flycatcher had made the short trip to the east.  It was not found around the balloon launch area, the swim beach or the old nature center.

A brief scope of the lake from above the dam found two Red-necked Grebes and a Common Loon.  Wind gusts produced some high waves limiting waterfowl identification a bunch.

Winds at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) were 13 mph, gusts to 23 mph; temperatures hovered around 35 degrees.

The Pacific Loon was slowly cruising along near the eastern shades area, north side of the lake.  Several Bonaparte's Gulls fought the high winds and drove for food.  The Barrow's Goldeneye was off the Lake Loop.  Hundreds of Western Grebes, some Common Mergansers and Eared Grebes bobbed up and down below the dam.

Aurora Reservoir was my final shot/hope to find the "missing" Tundra Swans.  None was found.  A Common Loon swam below the dam.  Most of the gulls stood on the shoreline at mile 2.5.  Steadying my scope was difficult, but there was no desire to walk that distance in the high winds.  A Lesser Black-backed Gull was the only Gull that could be definitely identified.

I drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams) around sunset.  Snow fell lightly with winds clocked at 14 mph.  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

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