Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Golden and Red Rocks Park

December 30, 2015

Richard Stevens:

Bryan Ehlmann and I drove the DIA Owl Loop early this morning.  Target birds were owls and Snow Buntings.  Temperature was 5 degrees at sunrise; anemometer reading was 7 mph.

Hundreds of Horned Lark flew around 112th avenue between 114th avenue and Gun Club Road.  They flew up from the stubble south of the road.  With some patience, we finally found a Snow Bunting (after half a dozen attempts).  At least two Lapland Longspurs were among the flock.

No Short-eared Owls appeared this morning.  The Barn Owl sometimes found along Hudson Road was also a no show.

In the afternoon, I drove to Golden.  The Common Redpoll was in the tree by the streetlight in front of Ira Sander's home at 314 DeFrance Court. 

A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew into the evergreen in front of the house and all birds disappeared.  Later I relocated the Common Redpoll in the tallest tree in Ira's backyard.

While looking at the Common Redpoll, a Gray-crowned Rosy Finch (Hepburn's) was observed getting a drink in the gutter above my head.

Unable to get home (east of DIA) because of traffic, I drove over to Red Rocks Park (Jefferson).  I watched the feeder behind the trading post for an hour. 

No uncommon birds came along.  Many Dark-eyed Juncos were joined by three Spotted Towhees (2 males, female), four Song Sparrows and two White-crowned Sparrows.

At dusk, I searched for owls (mostly Long-eared Owls) at the south end of the park; without success.  Temperatures were now 17 degrees; winds were 5 mph.

I walked Morrison Road (just east of Red Rocks Park) from the southern to northern entrance.  No Northern Pygmy-Owls were found tonight.

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