Saturday, December 26, 2015

Trip to Fremont County

December 22-23, 2015

Richard Stevens:

December 22

Bryan Ehlmann and I headed south to Fremont County and a Spotted Owl search.  In the past, I have had good fortune to hear them in early winter.

We started late in the morning at the Arkansas Riverwalk (Fremont County).  The Western Screech-Owl still suns itself near the Raynolds Avenue parking area.

Our next target bird(s) were the sapsuckers that some years winter in the Canon City Area.  Our luck was not as good as hoped.  We missed the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers at Lakeside Cemetery and in Florence. 

Fortunately, we finally found one at Rouse Park.  Most likely one or two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers move around town throughout the winter.  Missed were the previously reported Williamson's Sapsuckers (Lakeside Cemetery, Holy Cross Abbey and Temple Canyon Park).

It took less than 15 minutes to find one of the Rufous-crowned Sparrows that reside at Tunnel Drive, west end of Canon City.

Nothing uncommon was found at the Kodak observation area, Royal Gorge.

At dusk, we headed down Phantom Canyon Road.  No Spotted Owls were found this night.  We did locate one Northern Saw-whet Owl near the Juno Oro.

December 23

We got a late start after owling most of last night.  Our hope to find a Northern Saw-whet Owl in Red Canyon Park and the Shelf Road did not succeed.

Highlights were a Bewick's Wren and 12 Pinyon Jays. 

Back on Phantom Canyon Road, we missed the great birds (Gray-crowned Rosy Finch, Sage Thrasher, Greater Roadrunner & Northern Mockingbird) found by David Elwonger on 12/20.

Brush Hollow Wildlife Area was nicer to us.  Two Juniper Titmice, another Bewick's Wren, 20 Pinyon Jays, a pair of Ladder-backed Woodpeckers and a Sage Thrasher were added to our trip list!

We did not relocate the Northern Saw-whet Owl this evening.  Better yet, a Spotted Owl was heard at one of the previous locations that I have GPS waypoints!

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