Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Afternoon at Aurora Reservoir

December 18, 2016

Richard Stevens:

It was nasty cold in the afternoon.  Lows last night in Denver registered at minus 9 degrees.  When I stopped by Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) at 3:00 pm, the temperature was 20 degrees; winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 14 mph.

I scoped the lake from the eastern side of the swim beach parking area.  Unfortunately, the wind was out of the east-northeast and I had to deal with watery eyes.

The Long-tailed Duck was again in the middle of the lake, toward the northern end.  Two White-winged Scoters were again off the Lone Tree Cove.  A third scoter was loosely associated with them; however, I could not confirm a third White-winged Scoter or a Surf Scoter.  Three Common Loons were just north of the scoters.

Thousands of gulls stood on the ice shelf off the swim beach.  They were quite close together making identifying many of them close to impossible.  I did pick out two Thayer's Gulls and five Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  No Glaucous Gulls appeared to be in the group.

The surprise bird was a Red-necked Grebe off mile 4.5.  It took quite a while to confirm the ID.  Watery eyes and heat waves required me to watch the bird for thirty minutes before confirmation.

Nine white Snow Geese and one Ross's Goose accompanied thousands of White-cheeked Geese.  Common Duck species were represented in good number, as were American Coots.

As the sun set, temperature dropped drastically and my fingers finally refused to function.  The not so warm car felt fantastic!

No comments: