Sunday, October 9, 2016

Barr Lake and Surrounding Area

October 1, 2016

Rebecca Kosten and I took about three hours to walk from the Barr Lake Visitor's Center to the boat ramp and back (Adams County).

Few birds were observed moving around as we walked along the main road to the boat ramp.  The return trip was more interesting.  Four flocks of more than two Black-capped Chickadees each alerted us to some interesting birds.

The first flock of eight Black-capped Chickadees was accompanied by two Townsend's Warblers, the Philadelphia Vireo, two Yellow-rumped Warblers and three Downy Woodpeckers.  They flew around the tall cottonwood with the short thick willow tree underneath it.  We were on the lakeside of the riparian area where our backs were to the unoccupied Osprey nest platform (about mile 8.2).

We continued toward the Visitor's Center and found another flock of four Black-capped Chickadees, which were accompanied by six Yellow-rumped Warblers.  The surprise was the Magnolia Warbler reported yesterday.  This flock was at the northwest corner of the banding station peninsula.

The third flock of four Black-capped Chickadees and eleven Yellow-rumped Warblers were at the west end of the banding station.

The final flock of six Black-capped Chickadees, nine Yellow-rumped Warblers, one House Wren and one Hermit Thrush were at mile 8.8.  Again, we observed them from the lakeside of the riparian area.

We felt that none of the flocks was observable from the main road/trail.  Many Killdeer were along the water line; we again missed the Pectoral Sandpipers.

We needed to replenish supplies at Walmart (I70 and Tower Road).  A detour was needed because Tower Road is closed between 96 avenue and 88th avenue. 

Our chosen detour was 120th avenue to Imboden Road, south to I70.  We took a detour at 104th avenue, west to Umpire Road, south to 96th avenue, east back to Imboden Road with two stops along Box Elder Creek to enjoy my favorite time of the day (the last two hours of daylight).

We spent about thirty minutes at both stops.  A Red-headed Woodpecker drummed away along Box Elder Creek south of 104th avenue.  Not much else was around, just a couple of White-crowned Sparrows and a Great Horned Owl.

Box Elder Creek at 96th avenue was more interesting.  We hoped to find a second Red-headed Woodpecker, however did not.  Although we thought a Red-headed Woodpecker was heard, never seen.

Instead, a large loose flock of birds around a woodpile not far south of 96th avenue included ten Swainson's Thrushes, two Rock Wrens, six Yellow-rumped Warblers, one Cassin's Vireo, and a Green-tailed Towhee.

One other thrush was quite interesting.  I will post a photo of the bird on the "recent witness photos" link before retiring tonight.  Comments welcomed.

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