Friday, April 29, 2016

Ill Fated Search for a Brown Pelican

April 26, 2016

Richard Stevens:

This morning Terry Michaels and I birded the southern sections of Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld).  The northern lakes are closed until 7/15.

The riparian area east of Ponds 4 and 3 offered a few interesting sightings.  A Black-and-white Warbler was high in a cottonwood, while a Nashville Warbler stayed below in the thickets.

A male Bullock's Oriole called briefly and popped out of the evergreens at the western windbreak.  The rest of our hike to pond 1 was not noteworthy. 

Terry had to be home by noon.  I received a text message that a Brown Pelican was found at Walden Ponds (Boulder).  In one of the few bad birding decisions I made, I hurried north. 

The ponds are quite shallow and offer little in food to pelicans.  Having known that, I still went for it anyway.  It was a long hour and a half drive from home.  As it turned out, the Brown Pelican had been seen briefly at 11:30 am and flew off shortly thereafter.  My arrival at 4:00 pm was much too late.

As a consolation, I did find the Black Phoebe along Boulder Creek west of 75th Street.  With only a few hours of daylight remaining, I tried to scope as many lakes as possible on the trip home.

The Brown Pelican was not found at Baseline Reservoir, Valmont Reservoir, McIntosh Lake, Jim Hamm Park or Union Reservoir.

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