Saturday, May 14, 2016

Castlewood Canyon to Barr Lake State Parks

May 13, 2016

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I commenced our birding day at Castlewood Canyon Road (Douglas County).  We scoped the Winkler Ranch south of the west side of Castlewood Canyon State Park for about 45 minutes before finding a Bobolink.

Dozens of Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Common Grackles flew around the field south of the entrance.

Only one Bobolink was found; a male was on the hillside approximately 0.2 miles south of the Winkler Ranch gate.  Other birds found between Lake Gulch Road and the State Park included: many Vesper Sparrows, two Brewer's Sparrows, two Song Sparrows, half a dozen Lark Sparrows and one Rock Wren.

Both Western Bluebirds and Mountain Bluebirds were examining or using bluebird boxes along Castlewood Canyon Road between the Winkler Ranch and the southern entrance to the State Park.  A few of the nesting boxes appeared to be occupied by Tree Swallows.

Six Wild Turkeys walked the open field at the east-west to south-north turn in Castlewood Canyon Road just before the State Park.

Inside the Park, we walked the Creekside Trail from the falls to the old dam.  No "empidonax" flycatchers were found today.  Except for seven White-crowned Sparrows the trail was rather void of birds.

I believe the Castlewood Canyon State Park Spring Count was today.  They must have started on the east side of the Park; we saw no birders.

After lunch, we drove to Barr Lake State Park (Adams).   Nothing rare was discovered on our walk from the Visitor's Center footbridge to the boat ramp.  A few notable birds kept our interest however.

A Hooded Warbler stayed mostly in the low plants with fern like leaves at mile 8.2 (Visitor's Center is 9.0, boat ramp, 7.8).  A Brown Thrasher was at mile 8.15.

A walk down the Pioneer Trail (mile 8.1) added a Blackpoll Warbler to our list.  Not much else was found on the way to the boat ramp and we turned around.

On the way back to the Visitor's Center, we again observed the Hooded Warbler.  This time the bird was near mile 8.15.   A Lincoln's Sparrow was at mile 8.9.  Barn Owls are using the nesting boxes.

Many House Wrens, Bullock's Orioles, Chipping Sparrows, a couple of Swainson's Hawks and a few Western Kingbirds are now at the Park.

A drive around the DIA Owl Loop found a Burrowing Owl at Trussville & 114th and four at Third Creek and W. Cargo Road.

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