Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Afternoon Trip to Aurora Reservoir

November 29, 2016

Richard Stevens:

In the afternoon, I returned to Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) and hiked to the bench at mile 2.5 (from the southern entrance).

A male and female Surf Scoters were about 50 yards down from the mouth of Senac Cove.  It was the first time this fall that I observed a first winter Surf Scoter at Aurora Reservoir.  The female looked different from the previous Surf Scoters found this spring.  Definitely a new couple for the park.

A Common Loon swam about 20 yards north of the bench at mile 2.5.  Two Bonaparte's Gulls flew by while I scoped the lake.  Nothing else uncommon was seen and I continued to Lone Tree Cove.

The Black Scoter and one Surf Scoter stayed rather close together approximately 100 yards south of the mouth of the cove.  Another two Surf Scoters were at the south end of Lone Tree Cove.

Then I drove around to swim beach (takes about 20 minutes).  Two White-winged Scoters were at the mouth of the cove at mile 1.5.

Finally, I drove and walked to the southwestern end of the dam (parking area north of the boat storage area).  From that vantage point, I observed the first cycle Mew Gull and the first cycle Thayer's Gull.

Many gulls continued to fly in from DADS (Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site) northwest of the reservoir.  No Lesser Black-backed Gull or Glaucous Gull appeared.

The Red-necked Grebe and Greater Scaups encountered on previous trips were not found.

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