Tuesday, January 3, 2017

From Chatfield Reservoir to Roads Northeast of Barr Lake

January 3, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures barely achieved 30 degrees today.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 16 mph.  It was cold especially when exposed to the wind.

This morning, Terry Michaels and I went south to Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas) and relocated the Trumpeter Swan that has been reported for the last eight days.

Then we scoped South Platte Park Reservoir (Arapahoe/Jefferson) and found a Long-tailed Duck in Arapahoe County and another in Jefferson County!

Misses: we did not see any Black Scoters or Greater Scaups today.

In the afternoon, Rebecca Kosten and I drove the "country roads" north and east of Barr Lake (Adams).  We found a few Lapland Longspurs both in Adams and Weld Counties (look for flocks of Horned Larks).

Our best stop was in response to Bill Kaempfer's report of a Rusty Blackbird at Box Elder Creek and Weld County Road 4.  Within ten minutes of getting out of the car, three Rusty Blackbirds popped up from the Creek (at 20 feet north of County Road 4).

The Rusty Blackbirds would rest in the leafless cottonwoods for 5 minutes or so and then return to the Creek.  We watched this three times!

The next 30 minutes were spent trying to find out who owned the property.  We hoped to walk along Box Elder Creek and get better photographs.  We only managed a couple of witness shots.  Unfortunately, the landowner was not found.

A nice consolation was a local rancher took us to his property and showed us a Barn Owl in one of his abandoned barns (Weld County).

We ended our day at Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld).  Two Long-eared Owls were relocated in the windbreak along the west side of Ponds 6-8.  A Great Horned Owl was also observed.  He called as we departed!

The day added some nice birds to our new 2017 Bird Lists!

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