Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Barr Lake & Rocky Mountain Arsenal

August 27, 2016

Richard Stevens:

I walked the Niedrach Trail at Barr Lake (Adams County) at first light today.  It was another cool fall day with temperatures in the high 50s; winds were calm.

My target bird, the White-rumped Sandpiper reported yesterday, was not among thirteen Baird's Sandpipers walking and flying over the mudflats.  Yesterday's Long-billed Dowitcher and Stilt Sandpipers were also missing.  Two Lesser Yellowlegs and a dozen Killdeer walked up and down the mudflats.

Consolation sightings included a Red-eyed Vireo in the cottonwoods just west of the low Niedrach footbridge. 

Dozens of birds flew around the willows just west of the Boardwalk Trail.  These included four Warbling Vireos, six Wilson's Warblers, found Yellow Warblers, a White-breasted Nuthatch, Common Yellowthroat and Yellow-breasted Chat.

A Tennessee Warbler was found when I walked the north side of the same group of trees.  Misses: the Northern Waterthrush previously reported.

Later, Rebecca Kosten and I drove through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  Three Sage Thrashers continued on the Bison enclosure drive.

We then walked to the Rod & Gun Club Pond and Bird Blind.  A Red-headed Woodpecker flew around the cottonwoods north of the trail. 

The highlight was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that called from north of the pond.  He would have not been seen if he stayed quiet.  After hearing him, it still took us a good 15-20 minutes to spot him.

The highlight of the trip was outside of the Arsenal.  Two Broad-winged Hawks perched on the traffic light poles along Quebec.  They called constantly and did not appear to be disturbed as I photographed them.  Closest I have even been to one!

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