Saturday, April 23, 2016

Return to Jefferson County (Northern Parula, Nashville Warbler, Swamp Sparrow)

April, 22, 2016

Richard Stevens:

I took advantage of this fantastic spring day with a trip to Jefferson County.  Temperatures reached into the 80s!  Winds were calm most of the day.

My first stop was Wheat Ridge Greenbelt (Prospect Park) in hopes of getting a better photo of the Northern Parula.  When I walked along the path between the southern parking area and Tabor Lake, the Northern Parula was already calling.

Unfortunately, the Northern Parula stayed mostly deep in the catkins where it was picking off insects.  When the Park Ranger started up a bobcat, the Northern Pygmy-Owl disappeared as it flew to the east.  I was not able to relocate the warbler.

My next stop was Belmar Historic Park hoping to find the previously reported Nashville Warbler. 

News spread that the female Vermilion Flycatcher last reported yesterday was not found today.  My photos from Monday are on the Colorado Birding Society's Photo Library:

The Nashville Warbler was fluttering about the catkins high in the cottonwood trees at the extreme western end of the park.  It stayed within 10 yards of the Private Property sign near the far western bike/walking path.

Unfortunately, my photos only showed bits and pieces of the warbler.

I circled around the horse path to the northeastern corner of the cattails.  The Swamp Sparrow came out of the cattails at the extreme northeastern point.  Regrettably, it mostly stayed on the ground and well hidden in the base of the cattails.  Three times, it briefly switched positions.  Once staying on a branch for 10 seconds (allowing for good identifying looks).

I skipped Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) on my way home and scoped Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) instead.  Only one of the three Common Loons I found two days ago was relocated.

Six Burrowing Owls were found as I drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver Counties) on my trip home.  No Short-eared Owls were found this evening.

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