Sunday, November 6, 2016

Another Trip to Arapahoe County Reservoirs

November 5, 2016

Richard Stevens:

I returned to Aurora Reservoir this afternoon and to the bench at mile 2.5 between Senac Cove (mile 2.0) and Lone Tree Cove (mile 3.0).  This is about 1.0 mile walk from gate at E. Southshore Parkway & S. Quantock Way.  It was windier and colder than Thursday however still a nice day to be out birding.

No uncommon birds were found when I scoped the lake three times.  My attention turned to the tens of hundreds of gulls along the shore below the bench.  I hoped for a Mew Gull, none found; one Thayer's Gull was among many Ring-billed, a dozen California and two Herring Gulls.

Out of nowhere, two White-winged Scoters appeared just yards off shore!  On Thursday, four White-winged Scoters and two Surf Scoters were at the mouth of Senac Cove. 

I noticed that two of the White-winged Scoters on Thursday appeared to be slightly larger in head and bill.  All four had black bills.  The two "newer larger" birds had joined the previous two (10/28) on Thursday and appeared to not be present today (Saturday).

The two Surf Scoters on Thursday had no discernable differences.  They were not seen today.

Twenty minutes after watching the two White-winged Scoters, the Common Loon swam from the Lone Tree Cove, west toward the Senac Cove.

The last hour of direct sunlight was spent at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).  Three passes over the lake found no uncommon birds, but many Western Grebes, Horned Grebes, Eared Grebes, Ruddy Ducks and American Coots.

Then two Common Loons surfaced in the middle of the lake.  Shortly after, direct sunlight disappeared on the water.  Two Bonaparte's Gulls swam near the southwest marina.

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