Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Two Day Northeastern Colorado Trips

September 4-5, 2016

Rebecca Kosten (transcript of email notes):

September 4

Marion Warren, Betty Orr, Jack Lewis and I set out to search for a few of their target birds on the eastern plains.  Temperatures were in the middle 70s; winds were 9 mph, gusts to 11 mph. 

A brief stop at Jackson Reservoir (Morgan County) found a Long-eared Owl in less than 10 minutes at the western Campgrounds.

The most of rest of the day was spent at Prewitt Reservoir (Logan/Washington Counties).  Eventually we found the 2nd year Western Gull, one Lesser Black-backed Gull, several Semipalmated Plovers and six Pectoral Sandpipers.

At the inlet canal area, we picked up a Yellow-billed Cuckoo (they are used to seeing Black-billed Cuckoos in Missouri).  A Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Screech-Owl (usual location) were also in the same area.

Another Great Crested Flycatcher and a Red-headed Woodpecker were below the dam.

We rushed to Yuma County Road 45 and searched for Greater Prairie-Chickens at sunset.  One Greater Prairie-Chicken was south of CR 45, between the CR 45 lek and Highway 385.

Sterling was the biggest town to spend the night to try for additional target birds in the morning.

September 5

Today winds were calm; temperatures reached the middle 60s.  It was much nicer than yesterday.

We drove up and down Highway 138 east of Sterling before sunrise in search of Upland Sandpipers; without success.

Thinking an Upland Sandpiper sighting was a bust, we drove west to Sterling Reservoir (Logan).  Fortune was kind, an Upland Sandpiper stood on a fence post outside the entrance to the State Park.

We continued to the picnic area for brunch.  The area was quite birdy and we found a Black-throated Green Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo & Red-eyed Vireo!  A Barn Owl was at the camping area.

One additional target bird was on our list.  We headed to Pawnee National Grasslands to search for a Mountain Plover.  None was at their summering location along CR 100 (11.5 miles east of CR 77).

Next, we walked the dirt road, which is an extension of CR 63, north of CR 94.  Eventually one was found about 0.5 miles north of Weld County Road 94 and 0.4 miles west of CR 63!

A few McCown's Longspurs and a flock of 10+ Lark Buntings were observed during our hike.  No adult male Lark Buntings were in the flock.

All considered the two day trip a success!

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