Tuesday, August 9, 2016

CoBus Owling Trip

August 4-5, 2016

Terry Michaels and I led two owling hikes at the Colorado State Forest in Jackson County.

Four birders started out down the Michigan Ditch Road at 10:00 pm.  Our first highlight was a calling Long-eared Owl (about 0.2 miles south of Highway 14).

It was quite dark tonight (waxing moon about 5 percent).  My first nesting box is one mile from Highway 14; the last is 4.5 miles west.  In the past this year, I have found two Boreal Owls within the first two and a half miles.

The Boreal Owl at box number 4 did not disappoint.  We got superb looks at him/her from less than 10 yards!

Back at Cameron Pass, we sat and rested, waiting for another couple to join us.  A Boreal Owl called briefly from the south end of the Crags Campgrounds.

Skies were clear and thousands of stars shined above.  It is amazing how much "junk" has been put in space.  Just about every two minutes we could see a satellite streak across our view.

Around 4:00 am, two Illinois birders joined us and we drove to Ruby Jewell Road.  This trip we only hiked about 2 miles up the road.  Eventually we heard another two Boreal Owls (one observed).  A Flammulated Owl was quite cooperative and allowed us nice looks!

After a few hours of sleep, Terry Michaels and I hiked the Zimmerman Lake Loop Trail.  The highlight was a male White-winged Crossbill circling the north side of the Lake.  On the way back to our Jeep, two American Three-toed Woodpeckers crossed the trail near the trails intersection.

We returned to Denver after sunset by way of Pennock Pass (CR 27) and CR 44h (Larimer).  Two Flammulated Owls were found during our six stops along Pennock Pass.

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