Sunday, February 28, 2016

Wandering Along Eastern Metro Denver

February 28, 2016

Richard Stevens:

Our warm weather continued again today.  Temperatures reached into the middle 60s; winds were 8-10 mph.

I scoped both Lake Ladora & Lower Derby Lake at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams) for 30 minutes each.  While I did not find the Surf Scoter, another birder reported it about 3 hours before my arrival?

A Greater Scaup was found among many Lesser Scaup, Redheads and Canvasbacks on Lower Derby Lake.

Deciding to give a Winter Wren report a try at Castlewood Canyon State Park (Douglas), I headed south.

Bar CCC Pond (Douglas) had only a few Lesser Scaup.  The male Barrow's Goldeneye that had been there for a week or so was gone.

Walker Gravel Pit Pond (Douglas) north end of Castlewood Canyon State Park was 100 percent ice covered.

McLain Gravel Pit Pond (just north of the western entrance to Castlewood Canyon State Park was only 80 percent ice covered.  A male Barrow's Goldeneye (previously reported) was swimming around in the northeast corner (see photo on Colorado Birding Society's website:

A three hour search did not find the Winter Wren at Castlewood Canyon State Park.  However, the several mile hike in the warm sun was a pleasant consolation.

I found my first Mountain Bluebird (male) of 2016 near the Winkler Ranch (south of the State Park).

Misses: Turkey Vultures, any sparrows, Winter Wren.

On the way back home, a stop at Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) found few birds around.

Most birds at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) were in the center of the lake.  I watched the cattail fields at Lake View Road & Cherry Creek at sunset.  No Short-eared Owls appeared.

After sunset, gulls wandered to the floating telephone poles around the southwest marina.  An adult Thayer's Gull was among them!

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