Saturday, June 25, 2016

Search for the Elusive Arapahoe County Mountain Plover

June 24, 2016

Richard Stevens:

Cloudy afternoon skies kept temperatures in the high 80s; winds were 6 mph (except for a brief 20 minute cold front that blew through eastern Arapahoe County).

Rebecca Kosten and I returned to Eastern Arapahoe County in search of the elusive Mountain Plover for our checklists.  We also brought some meats for our new friends (June 22).

Three Dickcissels were again photographed at 0.8 miles north of the electric building along Strasburg Road (4.5 miles south of I70).

Although hiding well, we managed to relocate the Cassin's Kingbird along Knudtson Road at 0.4 miles south of CR 30 (E. Quincy Road).

The two Northern Mockingbirds were again at the cut hillside along Knudtson Road at 1.0 miles east of County Road 161.  Today they were joined by a Cassin's Kingbird.

The number of Cassin's Kingbirds in Eastern Arapahoe County comes as a surprise.  Before the day was over, the Cassin's Kingbird count was nine spread over seven locations.

Hundreds of Lark Buntings were found along CR 157 (Strasburg Road) to CR 30 (East Quincy Road) to Knudtson Road to CR 181. 

At least a dozen Grasshopper Sparrows were also observed.  The Loggerhead Shrike count was 17!  One pair had a nest along the route.

A Long-billed Curlew flew from east to west at the southwest corner of CR 181 & CR 42.

Our friends invited us to join them for a barbecue.  Our birding day ended by listening to an Eastern Screech-Owl along East Bijou Creek.

We searched a field that had a reliable report of two last week and two fields Mountain Plover summered last year.  No Mountain Plovers were found. 

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