Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Owling In Park & Jefferson Counties & Trip to Aurora Reservoir

November 8, 2016

Richard Stevens:

Terry Michaels and I went out owling early this morning.  Eventually we found two Northern Pygmy-Owls.  One of them was near St. Marys Church of the Rockies on the hill near Bailey (the other, Rosalie Road, south of Crestview Lane). 

Coming home from Franktown I had the choice to visit Cherry Creek Reservoir or Aurora Reservoir.  I chose Aurora Reservoir.

Winds were less than 2 mph; temperatures were in the upper 60s on this glorious fall day.  I made the long mile hike to the bench at mile 2.5.

On the way to the bench I saw five Surf Scoters and my target bird a Black Scoter (Steve Rash, 11/6) about 400 yards south of the mouth of Senac Cove.  A Pacific Loon was near them.

Once on the bench I saw three White-winged Scoters at the mouth of Lone Tree Cove (east of Senac).  Two Common Loons were 100 yards down the Cove.

Finally, another two Pacific Loons were off the point at mile 4.5!  All three Pacific Loons had nice chin straps.

At one time, all birds surfaced at the same time.  From the bench, I could see with binoculars five Surf Scoters, one Black Scoter, three Pacific Loons and two Common Loons!

It made the long walk back to my car seem shorter than Saturday when only two White-winged Scoters were seen.

We prefer to be conservative in our counts; however, if the birds leave and come (turnover), the scoter count at the south end of Aurora Reservoir in the last 21 days has been Surf Scoters five (up to seven), White-winged Scoters four (up to nine) and one Black Scoter.  Loons, three Pacific Loons and two Common Loons (up to 4).

Two adult Bald Eagles moved back and forth between the telephone poles on the east side of the reservoir and the trees at the south end of Lone Tree Cove.

Besides many Western, Horned and Eared Grebes, dozens of Ruddy Ducks and American Coots also swam around.

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