Sunday, August 21, 2016

Afternoon at Cherry Creek Reservoir

August 20, 2016

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures were in the low 70s, winds 6 mph when I arrived at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County).  Chores would have to wait.  I spent three hours walking from the Lake Loop to the Cottonwood Creek Wetlands. 

It was cool enough that I could wear long pants, a jacket and old hiking boots as I bushwhacked through the willows trying to stay as close to the shore as possible.  I thought the jacket was not needed until reaching the Prairie Loop.  The jacket provided some protection from the hordes of mosquitoes.

While most of the birds reported by Glenn Walbek earlier in the day were not relocated, a few nice birds were encountered.

In order of "appearance", a Northern Waterthrush walked along the little inlet canal just east of the Lake Loop.  Several Yellow Warblers, a pair of Wilson's Warblers and a Lincoln's Sparrow were also here.

Just west of halfway between the Lake Loop and the Prairie Loop a Nashville Warbler was fluttering about the short willows 15 feet from the lake.

Just east of halfway from the two loops a Long-eared Owl was almost "well hidden" in the thick bushes.

Many additional Yellow Warblers, another pair of Wilson's Warblers, and six Black-capped Chickadees were seen between the two loops.

While standing at the Cherry Creek inlet east of the Prairie Loop, where the washed out footbridge once was, I was surrounded by 28 Black-capped Chickadees!  A Clay-colored Sparrow was on the eastern bank.  Three House Wrens chattered from the low willows along the path.

At the Cottonwood Wetlands area, I was able to find a Least Sandpiper, two Western Wood-pewees, a Willow Flycatcher and a Gray Flycatcher.  The Ovenbirds and Indigo Bunting were not seen.

On the trip back to the Lake Loop (by way of the paved path), another Western Wood-pewee and two Western Tanagers were encountered.

A Townsend's Warbler flew around the cottonwoods on the west side of the Lake Loop.

I was thinking that no Western Kingbirds were around when one popped up from the Rabbit brush in the center of the Lake Loop.  Then another and another, the final count was 18.

Many Lark Sparrows and Chipping Sparrows were along the north side of the Lake Loop.

Time ran out before I could walk to the Bellvue wetlands, which will have to wait for another time.

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