Saturday, January 21, 2017

Birding From the Mountains to Plains

January 21, 2017

Richard Stevens:

New York birder Mark Stein and I started our birding day at Reynolds Park (Jefferson County) at 5:00 am.  It was a cold 18 degrees. 

Our target bird, a Northern Pygmy-Owl was heard thirty minutes later during a hike from the western to eastern parking areas.  Brief looks of the owl were observed after civil twilight.  The owl disappeared before sunrise.

We then backtracked and drove to Loveland Pass.  It took about forty five minutes to find two White-tailed Ptarmigan below the eastern side of the summit.  The birds had taken shelter under the southern end of the ragged rocky ridge below the summit.

Our next stop was a friend's home in Summit County.  The usual mountain species Evening & Pine Grosbeaks, Mountain Chickadees, Pine Siskins, three species of nuthatches and Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers were all found.

The highlight of course was three species of Rosy Finches!

Our last stop was the Blue River Water Treatment Plant (Summit).  Nine Barrow's Goldeneyes swam around this small pond that seldom if ever freezes.

After dropping Mark off at his downtown motel, I headed toward home.  A stop at Barr Lake (Adams) found a Barn Owl (owl box along main trail) & Long-eared Owl (eastern windbreak).

My birding day ended back at Box Elder Creek and Weld County Road 4.  No Rusty Blackbirds appeared.  Seven Red-winged Blackbirds perched over the creek. 

I enjoyed the last hour of daylight with the sounds Blue Jays, Northern Flickers, Western Meadowlarks, a Hairy Woodpecker and Song Sparrows helping to end the day.

1 comment:

feathered_flocks said...

Hi Richard,
I have tried to locate long eared owls in banner lakes SWA, but havent found them yet.. Could you point to a specific location in the SWA. Also, there is not mention of windbreaks.. What and where are these areas.?