Thursday, November 10, 2016

Better Fortune in Adams County Than Clear Creek County

November 10, 2016

Richard Stevens:

I planned to visit a friend in Georgetown and decided to do some owling on the trip into the mountains.

Unfortunately, I did not encounter any owls on Guanella Pass Road (Clear Creek County) from Georgetown to the Water Treatment plant.  My search centered on the Campgrounds, the name that I am spacing on right this minute?

No Rosy Finches were found or expected.  They would have been a nice surprise though.

Back on the plains, I stopped at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams) in the afternoon after receiving a text message about a Black Scoter on Lake Ladora.  Temperature was 64 degrees; winds were 4-6 mph.

No Black Scoter was found on Lake Ladora so I walked around Marys Lake hoping for a Swamp Sparrow.  None was found when I played a Swamp Sparrow recording near the cattails surrounding the small lake.

Note: a Swamp Sparrow recording is the only one I ever play.  It seems to get all kinds of sparrows to respond (Song, Lincoln's, Savannah, American Tree).

On the way back to my car, I walked the ditch south of Marys Lake.  In the past, this ditch has provided some interesting bird sightings.  Today the ditch had much less water than past falls.

When I reached the cement water control at the eastern end of the ditch, three Song Sparrows and a Swamp Sparrow briefly popped out of the cattails 10-30 yards west of the structure!  Regrettably, the Swamp Sparrow was too far away and mostly hidden for a photo.  The attempt for a witness shot did not work out.

Then I parked at the southwest corner of Lake Ladora and walked east along 64th avenue.  Sixteen American Tree Sparrows, two Song Sparrows and a Harris's Sparrow were eventually observed moving in and out of the willows along the road.  My last look at the Harris's Sparrow was just east of the four cottonwoods on the south side of the lake (a 14 fourteen foot high small tree was just east of them).

Finally I walked along the southwest corner of Lake Ladora to the small bushy area (bushes have thorns).  This is another spot just has sheltered some nice birds.  Today only a Spotted Towhee was here.

Another thirty eight American Tree Sparrows and four Song Sparrows fluttered about the high grasses at the extreme southwest corner near 64th avenue.

Lower Derby Lake had hundreds of waterfowl on it.  One of these was a Black Scoter (probably the Lake Ladora bird).  Other ducks included Ruddy Ducks, a few Canvasbacks, Gadwall, Mallards, Buffleheads, Common Mergansers and many American Coots.

Twenty minutes before sunset (closing time for the arsenal) I walked part of the Legacy trail.  Two Long-eared Owls and a Barn Owl were the prizes!

No comments: