Friday, April 29, 2016

Unsuccessful Search for a Brown Pelican

April 29, 2016

Richard Stevens:

The day saw temperatures no higher than 33 degrees; winds were 7-9 mph.  Light snow fell off and on all day and low fog hovered not far off the ground.

Terry Michaels and I searched most of the day for the Brown Pelican last reported yesterday at Ireland Reservoir # 5.  We did not find it.

First Terry and I birded Barr Lake State Park (Adams).  I dropped him off at the northern end of the dam (mile 6.0) and left the car at mile 4.5.  He walked toward the car while I hiked from 4.5 to 2.5.

A search for the Harris's Sparrow found a few weeks ago at mile 2.5 did not turn up the bird.  Whether this was the same bird found at mile 8.8 on 4/27, one never knows?  The Wednesday bird did look a little different.

We scoped what few parts of the lake that could be seen threw the fog from the boat ramp (mile 7.6) and the Niedrach Boardwalk (mile 0.5).  No Brown Pelican was found.

Ireland Reservoir # 5 had three American White Pelicans, many paired Western Grebes, dozens of American Coots and no Brown Pelican.  Half a dozen Great-tailed Grackles appear to be nesting in the surrounding cattails.

Banner Lakes Wildlife Area also was checked.  Highlight at Banner Lakes # 4 to # 2 were a western Palm Warbler and Black-and-white Warbler.  A Long-eared Owl was along the western windbreak of the same ponds.

Next, we tried to see Milton Reservoir (Weld).  The heavy fog prevented seeing the reservoir from Weld County Road 49.  When we tried to see the reservoir from the western side, we were stuck in the soupy muddy County Road 43.

We continued to Lower Latham Reservoir (Weld) after digging the car out with much effort (only having two ice scrappers).

Best bird of the day was the Glossy Ibis at Beebe Draw Ponds.  It appears to have been moving from Beebe Draw Ponds to Lower Latham Reservoir for a few days.

No Brown Pelican was at the part of Lower Latham Reservoir that we could see through the fog.  Our last stop of the day, Loloff Reservoir also had no Brown Pelican.

In the late afternoon, Rebecca Kosten and I picked up some friends and went to dinner near Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).  Of course, we had to make a brief stop.

The eastern sand spit was full of shorebirds, the best being 2 Marbled Godwits and 7 Willets.  We also found 16 American Avocets, 9 Wilson's Phalaropes, 2 Solitary Sandpipers, 1 Stilt Sandpiper, 2 Least Sandpipers, 2 Baird's Sandpipers, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs and 1 Spotted Sandpiper.

Nine Yellow-headed Blackbirds walked along Lake View Road near Cottonwood Creek Wetlands area.  One Great-tailed Grackle flew around. 

Dozens of Chipping Sparrows and Vesper Sparrows flew around the Lake Loop.  Another Willet and Least Sandpiper walked the shore at the southwest boat ramp.

Most of the gulls at the marina were Ring-billed.  A few California Gulls were in the mix.

We did not find the Eastern Phoebe reported earlier by Jerry Petrosky at the Lake Loop-Mountain Loop. 

Only American White Pelicans and a few Western Grebes were observed through the fog hanging over the lake.

Five snow covered Burrowing Owls were scattered around the DIA Owl Loop.

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