Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trip to Colorado's Eastern Plains

November 21-23, 2016

Richard Stevens:

November 21

Terry Michaels and I headed to the eastern plains for a few days.  A sunrise we birded the Fort Lyons Wildlife Easement along Bent County Road JJ, east of CR 16.  Winds were 8 mph, gusts to 14 mph.

Our target bird the previously reported Sedge Wren was not found.  Two Swamp Sparrows did respond to our recordings.  Nothing uncommon was found at Lake Hasty or John Martin Reservoir (Bent) and we continued to Lamar.

The highlight of our trip was the Pine Warbler found at a private yard in Lamar!  It had been reported by Janeal Thompson from 11/11 through at least 11/22.

By afternoon winds were 22 mph, gusts to 28 mph.  Temperatures reached the lower 70s.

Two Northern Cardinals and a Red-bellied Woodpecker continue at Lamar Community College (Prowers).  The previously reported Bewick's Wren was not found.  Nothing uncommon was come upon at Fairmount Cemetery or Riverside Cemetery.

A drive down to Two Buttes Reservoir (Baca) found a Ladder-backed Woodpecker and Barn Owl!

We headed north after sunset.

An Eastern Screech-Owl was found along Yuma County Road 2, east of Highway 385 when we passed by on the trip to Wray.

 November 22

The day around Wray was quite pleasant.  Winds never rose above 6 mph; temperatures reached the middle 50s.

At first light, we drove the Yuma County Road 45-CR PP loop.  A Short-eared Owl was found shorted after sunrise at the bend (road goes from CR 45 to CR PP).  No Greater Prairie-Chickens were found.

Birding around Wray was somewhat productive.  The best bird was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Wray City Park!  A Harris's Sparrow was found west of the parking area for Stalker Pond.  Two Eastern Bluebirds were around the buildings at Wray Fishing Unit.

Sandsage Wildlife Area had another Harris's Sparrow and many White-crowned, some Song and a White-throated Sparrow.

A three friend's homes we chalked up four male, two female Northern Cardinals, one Red-bellied Woodpecker and one Harris's Sparrow.

After sunset, we headed back south to Bonny Reservoir Wildlife Area (Yuma).  Using our night vision glasses we found three Long-eared Owls near Fosters Grove Campgrounds.  Two Eastern Screech-Owls responded to recordings along the Republican River east of highway 285 (one probably last night's bird).

November 23

Before sunrise, we heard an Eastern Screech-Owl calling north of Hale Ponds.  A short hike around the Wildlife Area added four Red-bellied Woodpeckers, two Northern Bobwhite and seven Eastern Bluebirds to our trip list.

The Northern Bobwhite may not be countable birds as dog trainers use them; some escape (the bobwhite, not the trainers or dogs :-)

A brief stop at Flagler Reservoir (Kit Carson) found another Red-bellied Woodpecker and not much else.  We hoped for a Common Redpoll or uncommon sparrow.

No comments: