Thursday, June 2, 2016

Trip to Jackson County

May 28-31, 2016

Richard Stevens:

May 28

Rebecca Kosten and I made a short trip to Jackson County.  Earlier in the day, we stopped by Barr Lake (Adams).  No Baltimore Orioles were found this spring (breaks my four year run of them showing up at the State Park).

We arrived at Cameron Pass an hour before sunset.  A walk down to the Crags Campgrounds was timed to arrive at dark.  One Boreal Owl was heard calling not far south of the Campgrounds.

A second Boreal Owl was heard within 0.1 miles west of the Cameron Pass summit.

May 29

Rebecca and drove up Jackson County Road 26 an hour before sunrise.  We did not make it to the CR 26b leks before observing two Greater Sage-Grouse walking along the road.  They appeared to ignore us and feed along the road.

When we arrived at the CR 26b lek, no Greater Sage-Grouse were around.

We continued west to Walden Reservoir.  Nothing uncommon was found and we continued to the Wildlife Areas along Jackson County Road 12.

We scoped Delaney Buttes from a rather muddy parking area.  Rebecca located one Greater Sage-Grouse wandering around the base of the Butte!

Nothing else uncommon was found and we continued north to Lake John Wildlife Area.  Again not much was seen as 18 mph winds blew over the lake.

Back at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center, we watched for Rosy Finches for about an hour.  None appeared.  The male American Three-toed Woodpecker was relocated drumming away across Highway 14, north of the Visitor's Center.

Late in the afternoon, we drove into the Colorado State Forest and stopped at Ruby Jewell Road.  A Flammulated Owl and Boreal Owl were heard within a 3/4 mile hike up the road!

May 30

We returned to the Colorado State Forest about 4:00 am.  Our search for additional owls came up empty.

An American Three-toed Woodpecker and Red-naped Sapsucker were found within 0.2 miles up Ruby Jewell Road.

We explored the Ranger Lakes area and found another American Three-toed Woodpecker.  Other birds included the more common Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Pine Siskins, Mountain Chickadees, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers.

After going into Walden for late breakfast, we detoured over to Walden Reservoir.  A Bonaparte's Gull was observed flying back and forth along the northern side.  Shorebirds except for Killdeer were absent.

Once again back at the Visitor's Center, no Rosy Finches came to visit during our two hour watch.

May 31

Shortly after midnight, we drove east down Highway 14 and stopped at most of the Campgrounds and picnic areas.

A detour to Pennock Pass Road found it not drivable.  Thus ended our Flammulated Owl search here.

Eventually we found Northern Pygmy-Owls at two stops and Flammulated Owls at another two!

Once back down on the "Plains" we had two stops in mind.  The Red Phalarope was relocated at the southwest side of Timnath Reservoir (Larimer).  A male Blue Grosbeak was a bonus bird for the trip!

A search for the Least Bittern at Walden Ponds (Boulder) was not successful.

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