Sunday, October 16, 2016

Barr Lake, Star K Ranch and Coal Creek

October 16, 2016

Richard Stevens:

After finishing too many chores, I went over to Barr Lake (Adams County) to see if I could get a photo of the Black-bellied Plover found yesterday.  Winds today were 10 mph to 19 mph, gusts to 22 mph; temperature reached a nice 84 degrees.

The only shorebirds along the northern side of Barr Lake this afternoon were Killdeer.  Nothing else from the north end of the dam to around mile 5.0 except for Ring-billed Gulls and two California Gulls.

The shorebirds were probably off the Niedrach boardwalk trail; however, I decided to skip the southern shore.

Instead, I drove to Star K Ranch (Adams).  A hike circling the nature area found exactly one Northern Flicker and nine European Starlings.

My next stop was Coal Canyon Regional Greenway (Arapahoe County).  My first year of birding (1972) I visited Coal Creek between Springhill and the Greenway twenty six times. 

It took many trips to realize that the only birds seen were Black-capped Chickadees, Yellow-rumped Warblers and an occasional White-breasted Nuthatch.  Then I quit going there.

Today it provided the highlight of the day and perhaps the fall.  I am not making the sighting public until the bird is gone.  CFO birders do not have a good history of treatment of the bird.  It needs to be left alone.

I did call friends Terry Michaels, Dave King, Jacob Washburn, Ray Simmons, Rebecca Kosten and Sue Ehlmann.  Terry, Rebecca and Sue were able to make it out and witness the bird.  Stay turned, I will talk about the bird in a few days.

Other birds found today included an Eastern Screech-Owl (which would have made a good highlight on its own).


jnfr said...

I appreciate that you are willing to be circumspect with the location of possibly vulnerable species. Thank you.

Birder Rich said...

As one can see on the November Colorado Birding Society's website:

The mystery bird was an American Woodcock. It is the third Arapahoe County record. I first found the bird along Murphy's Creek on 10/16. Only two birders of the nine I called were able to come out and see it. Terry Michaels relocated at first light on 10/17. It was not relocated afterwards.

When I walked Murphy's Creek it flew a short ways down the swallow creek. It call was not that of a Wilson's Snipe which made me pursue it. It was getting dark and my photos were also. I lighten them with photoshop. Photo will also be on November's "Colorado Field Notes" :