Saturday, October 29, 2016

Return to Gilpin County and Aurora Reservoir

October 28, 2016

Richard Stevens:

After Terry Michaels and I went owling near Rollinsville (Gilpin), I headed to Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).  We found another two Northern Saw-whet Owls along Highway 119 (two were found at different locations on 10/27). 

I have not time to check the three "owl listening stations" we placed along Hwy 119.  Perhaps additional Northern Saw-whet Owls or a Northern Pygmy-Owl may be added to the list.

On the way home, I stopped at Barr Lake (Adams).  The Red-throated Loon was again off the boat ramp.

Several birders relocated the Common Loon at Aurora Reservoir Friday morning.  With no report of the scoters, I decided to see if they were still around.  Today, I hiked in from the most southeastern gate (the one by the Club House).

A White-winged Scoter and Surf Scoter were at the entrance to Senac Cove at Mile 2.0  Eventually, they swam to the southern end of the cove (near the old rookery, now just a roost).

Later I found a second White-winged Scoter at the mouth of the Lone Tree Cove at mile 3.0.  Photos of all are now on the Colorado Birding Society's Photo Library:

None of the scoters was visible from the swim beach parking area.  The hike was 0.5 miles to Senac Cove and another 1.0 miles to Lone Tree Cove.

On the way back, I walked along the cattail marshes on the east and west sides of Senac Cove.  A Swamp Sparrow responded to a recording.  The sparrow was about halfway between the south and north ends.

The Common Loon was swimming along the shore at mile 4.5.  Most of the gulls were in the center of the lake and too far away to ID.

In the afternoon, I wandered around Elbert County at two locations where Short-eared Owls have been found in the past.  None was seen today.

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