Saturday, September 3, 2016

Birding Around Holyoke, Colorado

September 1, 2016

Richard Stevens:

My birding day centered on Holyoke, Colorado.  An uncommon sparrow or Eastern Meadowlark was target birds; neither was found.

Winds were 11 mph with gusts to 24 mph.  That was not a good sign for birding.  Temperatures reached the high 70s.

I stopped at Haxtun Sewage Ponds on the drive to Holyoke.  Two Pectoral Sandpipers walked around.  Yesterday's reported two Short-billed Dowitchers were not found.  Considering the high winds, they probably somewhere up in Sedgwick County by now.

Holyoke Cemetery was the best spot today.  In spite of the winds, I found a Black-throated Green Warbler, four Baltimore Orioles and previously reported Philadelphia Vireo.  Although, the Philadelphia Vireo took awhile to id.

Nearby Holyoke Fishing Pond added another Baltimore Oriole to my day list.  Not much else other than an Eastern Kingbird was around.

The majority of my day was spent searching for sparrows at Frenchman Creek Wildlife Area.  Unfortunately, the area is quite dry again this year.  In raining years, the pond with attract shorebirds and perhaps entices uncommon sparrows to stop by during their southern migration.

In three-four hours, I found only one Field Sparrow.  The highlight however was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo hidden in one of the taller cottonwoods at the southwestern edge of the property.

The highlight of my day however was a visit to a friend's home.  She had a Ruby-throated Hummingbird visiting her yard for the past four days.  We only sat in her kitchen for about 15 minutes before the young male came to her feeders.  A beautiful subadult male.

Back on 8/14, another friend showed Terry Michaels and me a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at her feeders.  I could not decide if it was the same bird.  The two yards are only half a mile apart as the crow or hummingbird flies.

If they were the same hummingbird, today's bird had gained reddish spots on its throat since 8/14?  Perhaps the August Ruby-throated Hummingbird was a female.  Terry and I thought so, but were not positive.

With the high winds (14mph, gusts to 28 mph) picking up after sunset, I gave up on any owling.

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