Monday, February 27, 2017

Windy Stop at Aurora Reservoir

February 27, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I had to go to Parker today on business.  On the trip home, we passed Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).

Temperatures reached 55 degrees.  Winds were 10-12 mph, with gusts to 36 mph.  Anemometer readings were only 25 mph during our stop at Aurora Reservoir.

I "hid" my scope behind the picnic pavilion at the northern swim beach parking area.  Scoping the lake was still quite difficult.  We did relocate the White-winged Scoter at the mouth of Senac Cove.

Two Greater Scaups swam close to shore where winds might have been less strong.  They were just northeast of the parking area where we sat.

Winds at 36 mph deterred any search for Short-eared Owls along the DIA Owl Loop.

Several Trips to the DIA Owl Loop and a Detour to Cherry Creek Reservoir

February 26, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Terry Michaels and I drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver Counties) just before sunrise this morning.  A Short-eared Owl flew along West Cargo Road near the culvert 0.2 miles north of Third Creek. 

A Lapland Longspur was with 80+ Horned Larks along Gun Club Road (Denver).

We found a dead Barn Owl at the Cargo Road/96th avenue curve.  This must be a deadly curve for birds.  In the last six years, the road kill count is two Barn Owls, a Short-eared Owl and two Burrowing Owls.

Later we relocated Long-eared Owls and a Barn Owl at nearby Barr Lake (Adams).

In the afternoon, I went out to photograph the DIA Owl Loop for a future "Colorado Field Notes" article.  Raptors were out in force.  The count included 15 Northern Harriers, 2 Ferruginous Hawks, 5 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Rough-legged Hawk, 2 Prairie Falcons, and 2 American Kestrels.

Temperatures only reached the low 40s today; winds were 5-6 mph with gusts to 10 mph.

I then spent two hours at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) searching for the Western Kingbird to add to my February lists.  It was not found.  I did add my first Cherry Creek Reservoir Bushtits with four up the Butterfly Hill trail.

An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull stood on the poles floating around the southwest marina.  A Harlan's Hawk was perched in a cottonwood near the Lake View/Cherry Creek cattails.  Nothing else uncommon was found.

Barr Lake, Aurora Reservoir & DIA Owl Loop

February 25, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures only reached the high 40s today; winds were 6-8 mph with gusts to 14 mph.

Most of the day was spent doing chores.  I did find time to stop at Barr Lake (Adams).  One Barn Owl and two Long-eared Owls were relocated.

Driving home from Aurora in the afternoon, I passed by Aurora Reservoir.  The White-winged Scoter was north of the mouth of Senac Cove.

No Short-eared Owls appeared during a drive of the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver).  No Burrowing Owls have returned yet.  A Sage Thrasher was on the fence at Gun Club Road and Third Creek.

Exploring Southeastern Colorado

February 20-24, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Terry Michaels and I explored southeastern Colorado for a few days.  Temperatures ranged from high 40s to low 60s.

We hoped to find an early migrant or two (and did so).  Perhaps Kingbirds or Flycatchers were moving northward during our warmer temperatures.

February 20

We left Denver several hours before sunrise.  Skipping most of the locations were birding was expected to be slow, our first stop was Lamar Community College (Prowers County).

The Northern Cardinals cooperated and two males and a female were found rather quickly.  The Carolina Wren was much harder.  It took us over an hour before finally finding it deep in the bushes.

Two Buttes Reservoir (Baca) was slow.  Our best find was a Swamp Sparrow below the dam.  A male Ladder-backed Woodpecker drummed on the older, taller Cottonwoods.

Our goal was to search for Lesser Prairie-Chickens the last hour of light and we continued south to Campo and then turned east.

A fos (first of the season) Lark Bunting was along CR G between CR 36 and the old Lesser Prairie-Chicken Lek.  It was not however the earliest record date.  The earliest date in our database in 3/6 (that was 2000).

Eventually we found three Lesser Prairie-Chickens on the Comanche National Grasslands (Baca).  Two had joined another that was found last December and again on 2/11/2017.

We have removed the location from the Colorado Birding Society's RBA.  Since the site may be a possible lek, we will continue to watch but not report until after May.

February 21

We stayed at a private ranch in Baca County, woke early and searched unsuccessfully for Northern Saw-whet Owls & Western Screech-Owls.   Consolation sightings included a Barn Owl and two Greater Roadrunners.

Several hours we spent birding in Picture Canyon (Baca) and North Canyon (Baca).  Highlights included two Rufous-crowned Sparrows (along the rocky ridge just south of the parking area) and a Curve-billed Thrasher on the rocky ridge near the closed mine gate.

North Canyon added a few American Tree Sparrows, two Townsend's Solitaires and one Northern Mockingbird to our day list. 

We hiked a short distance into Oklahoma and found the famous Meta stone.

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening at the Upland Bird Management Area (Baca).  A McCown's Longspur was with 14-16 Lapland Longspurs.  It was a little strange to see these two species together.

Traditionally, Lapland Longspurs winter in Colorado and depart before McCown's Longspurs and Chestnut-collared Longspurs return to Colorado for the nesting season.

February 22

We spent the night back on our friend's ranch.  Leaving three hours before sunrise, we explored nearby ranches for owls.  A Northern Saw-whet Owl and Western Screech-Owl were found at another private ranch in Baca County.  The Western Screech-Owl has heard (captured) on one of the three "owl listening stations" we had set up.

At Cottonwood Canyon (Baca), we saw a Western Screech-Owl at the camping area.  Later we found two Rufous-crowned Sparrows at 1.2 miles northeast of the camping area.

Usual suspects were also found: Canyon Towhees, Chihuahuan Ravens, Ladder-backed Woodpecker and Spotted Towhee.

In the evening, we played recordings at a Las Animas private ranch and had visits from two Northern Saw-whet Owls.  One of three "owl listening stations" captured a response from a Western Screech-Owl.

February 23

We returned to our friend's ranch in Baca for a few hours of sleep.  Passing through Cottonwood Canyon, we tried unsuccessful for photos of the Rufous-crowned Sparrows.  We saw them; however, they did not cooperate.

A Cooper's Hawk and female Ladder-backed Woodpecker were nice surprises.  Heading toward La Junta (Otero), we stopped at the previously visited Las Animas CR 177.9 site and relocated one of the four Rufous-crowned Sparrows.

Nothing out of the ordinary was found during stops along the drive.  One Curve-billed Thrasher was near the Higbee Cemetery.  No Black-throated Sparrows appeared to have returned to the area yet this season.

February 24

Nothing uncommon was found at Lake Henry (Crowley) or Ordway Wildlife Area and our trek continued north.  Stops at locations that previously had many longspurs did not have any today.

Once we hit Highway 70, we detoured to Flagler Reservoir (Kit Carson).  We hoped for a Common Redpoll or uncommon wren; none was found.

Consolation sightings included a Red-bellied Woodpecker and two White-throated Sparrows.

We ended our birding day by sitting near a Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek on private land north of Joes in Yuma County.  No birds visited this evening.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Windy Sunday Around Denver

February 19, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Chores lead me by Washington Park (Denver County) on this cloudy winter morning.  The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was not found during my hour visit.

On my way home in the afternoon, I passed Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).  The White-winged Scoter remains swimming just off the east side of the parking area north of the swim beach.  Gull numbers are reducing daily.  No uncommon gulls were found.

I parked at 88th avenue (Adams) at sunset.  From the parking area west of the garbage dump, you can see the field below the road to the east, the southern side of the dump, the field between 88th and 96th avenues and the Second Creek Trail.  No Short-eared Owls were seen. 

Afternoon Trip to Arapahoe & Adams Counties

February 18, 2017

Richard Stevens:

While out doing chores, I passed Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe County).  The White-winged Scoter was again just off the east side of the parking area north of the swim beach.

The ice shelf is melting rapidly; the only ice was just off the swim beach.  No uncommon gulls were among several hundred Ring-billed, four Herring and two California Gulls.

I received a text message about a Swamp Sparrow at Barr Lake (Adams) and headed over.  A walk from the Visitor's Center footbridge (mile 9.0) to the boat ramp (mile 7.6) found zero sparrows.

One of the Barn Owls was perched in a tree along the Pioneer Trail.  Two Long-eared Owls were in the entrance windbreak.

I wanted to search for Short-eared Owls at sunset and detoured over to the Second Creek Open Space where a Swamp Sparrow was reported yesterday.  One American Tree Sparrow was the only sparrow found when I hiked the several trail loops.

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening along the DIA Owl Loop.

Brief Trip to Northeastern Colorado

February 16-17, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I drove to northeastern Colorado to celebrate a friend's birthday.  Of course we made a few birding stops along the drive.  The mild Colorado winter continued with temperatures in the high 60s; winds were 4-5 to 14 mph during our trip.

February 16

A walk around the Jackson Reservoir Campgrounds (Morgan County) found two Long-eared Owls today.  The Eastern Screech-Owl was looking out of his usual hole.  A Harris's Sparrow was near the cattails at Pelican Campgrounds.

A Thayer's Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull were seen from the camping area at Prewitt Reservoir (Logan/Washington).  We relocated Eastern Screech-Owls at both the inlet canal and the eastern parking area.

February 17

Roger Danka and I started out several hours before sunrise.  Two Eastern Screech-Owls were found at Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan) before civil twilight.

We drove Logan County Road 55 in search of Greater Prairie-Chickens.  A walk to the windbreak along CR 55, south of I76 found one bird to the southwest.

Back at Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan), the bird count included three Red-bellied Woodpeckers, two Long-eared Owls, five Eastern Bluebirds, four Northern Cardinals and two Spotted Towhees.  Misses: no Eastern Towhees

Jumbo Reservoir (Logan/Sedgwick) had no uncommon birds.  The Trumpeter Swans reported last week appear to have move on elsewhere.  Few birds were at nearby Red Lion Wildlife Area (Logan).

Nothing uncommon was found at Duck Creek Wildlife Area or Sedgwick Cemetery.

We returned to the southern section of Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area just before sunset.  After hiking about 1000 yards north of Logan CR 46 & 91, we scoped the valley below.  One Greater Prairie-Chicken was observed walking among the sagebrush.

February 18, morning

We parked along Yuma County Road 45 just before sunrise.  Eventually two Greater Prairie-Chickens visited the lek.  I suspect that birders who miss the prairie-chickens do so because they leave too early.  Many times the Greater Prairie-Chickens do not visit the lek until after sunrise (sometimes well after sunrise).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Denver and Arapahoe County Birding Today

February 15, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I went out this morning in search of several Denver County birds.  Temperatures reached 65 degrees under partly sunny skies; winds were 7-8 mph with gusts to 13 mph.

Fortune shined on us, it took less than 20 minutes to relocate one of the Eastern Screech-Owls found by Doug Kibbe on 2/11 at Observatory Park.  Check the older cottonwood trees, the owls are seldom in the evergreen trees.

Washington Park is not far from Observatory Park; so we tried for the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker next.  Another short search found the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in tree # 5, north of Lily Pond.  The tree appears to be its favorite.

A check of the double trunked tree just north of the road and tree #5 found a Sharp-shinned Hawk perched in the branches where the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has also been on several occasions. 

We had hoped for a better photo than the one I posted on the Colorado Birding Society's Photo Library (  The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker stayed quite hidden high in the branches of tree #5.  The proximity of the Sharp-shinned Hawk most likely curtailed movement by the sapsucker.

After dropping Rebecca off, I headed over to Aurora Reservoir to enjoy this beautiful "winter day" with a hike around the lake.

It was not necessary to hike the whole park.  My first stop was the parking area north of the swim beach.  The remaining ice on the lake was here at the swim beach.

Several thousand gulls stood on the ice.  At least two Thayer's Gulls (adult, 1st winter) were among many Ring-billed, two California and a dozen Herring Gulls.

Two interesting gulls caught my attention.  One appeared to be the 1st cycle Great Black-backed Gull.  The other looked more like a Glaucous-winged X Herring Gull than a full Glaucous-winged Gull.

It was light tan all over with one spots on its upper parts, blackish bill with flesh colored base to lower mandible and a fine marbled pattern to its breast.

I would expect a Glaucous-winged Gull to be overall the same darkish tan (no white spots on upper parts), full black bill and a more uniform breast.

It was not necessary to scope below the dam for the lingering White-winged Scoter.  The duck was swimming 20 feet off the east side of the parking area at 3:30 pm.

The visit to Aurora Reservoir did not take as long as expected.  I drove over to a friend's ranch in Arapahoe County.  Coal Creek runs through his property. 

With permission, I walked about a mile of Coal Creek.  One Eastern Screech-Owl was found.  Whether its nests here needs to be confirmed on future visits.  No Barn Owls were found on his property this evening.

Brief Stop at Aurora Reservoir

February 14, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Chores kept me busy today.  I did have time to enjoy another mild winter day with a stop at Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).  Today I scoped the lake from the northern and western sides of the dam.

The White-winged Scoter was swimming below the western side of the dam.  Gulls were too far away to identify.

High temperature today was 46 degrees.  High winds made it feel quite cold.  Anemometer readings were 7-8 mph with gusts to 16 mph (one gust was 23 mph).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Loveland Pass, Summit County, Barr Lake & DIA Owl Loop

February 13, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Florida birders, Nora & Greg Woodford and I scoped the mountains at Loveland Pass (Clear Creek) early this morning.  Eventually two White-tailed Ptarmigan were found below the western side of the Summit.

NOTE: These birds could not be seen from the trail above.  We had to walk the western side, pass the wooden fence and continue to where the trail bends to the west (after going south).  We looked back below the wooden fence and found two birds!

Later we visited a friend's home in Summit County.  Three species of Rosy Finches, Mountain Chickadees, Pygmy & White-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Siskins, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers, Clark's Nutcrackers and Evening Grosbeaks were added to our trip list!

Later we detoured over to the Blue River Water Treatment Plant (Summit) and found only two Barrow's Goldeneyes swimming around the small pond that never freezes.

After dropping my friends off at their hotel, I needed to stretch my legs.  I walked from mile 1.0 to 0.0/9.0 to 7.5 at Barr Lake (Adams) searching for the Rusty Blackbirds that have been reported several times.  Then I walked below the dam from mile 6 to 7.  I did not find the Rusty Blackbirds.

The temperature was 46 degrees; however, winds were calm to 2 mph!  I did relocate one of the Barn Owls and two Long-eared Owls!

After driving the DIA Owl Loop just before sunset, I parked along the shoulder of 88th avenue, just west of the For Sale Sign, east of the Landfill & 470 Toll Road.

 A Short-eared Owl flew for about 10 minutes over the field below the road to the south and just north of Pena Blvd.  Later it was pointed out that Holden Maxfield had reported a Short-eared Owl yesterday, perhaps in the same area.

The field had some nice habitat for Short-eared Owl roosting and nesting.  Several culverts, a small grove of trees and several dirt mounds appear to be a good place for Short-eared Owls to live and hunt.

Before the 90s, this area was one of the better locations to find Short-eared Owls in the metro area.  The landscape has changed much since then; still we have found nesting Short-eared Owls in two of the past six years in the area.

Now no longer acceptable habitat, Upland Sandpipers in season were also common in this area.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Rampart Range Road & Castlewood Canyon State Park

February 12, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Terry Michaels and I departed Denver quite early this morning (2:00 am).  We spent the hours before sunrise owling in the Highway 67 & Rampart Range Road area (Douglas).

Two Northern Pygmy-Owls were heard; however, they disappeared before civil twilight.  No Northern Saw-whet Owl could be located this morning.

One of the resident American Three-toed Woodpeckers wandered and drummed northeast of the intersection.

Later we stopped at the Sedalia cemetery (Douglas).  No uncommon birds were found.  Six to seven Cedar Waxwings did ramble though the area.

The Trumpeter Swan is still at the Chatfield State Park gravel pond (Douglas).

The Dunlin is still at the southeast corner of McLellan Reservoir.  He and the Killdeer did wander into Arapahoe County and we got the two county tick.  We did not find the Harris's Sparrow.

Next, we drove through Castlewood Canyon State Park (Douglas) and by the Winkler Ranch.  One Mountain Bluebird was our only bluebird sighting.  Four Wild Turkeys walked along the south side hill (where Castlewood Canyon Road runs west to east.

No Northern Saw-whet Owls could be found in the park this evening.  We checked previous park locations and nearby private lands (without disturbing or trespassing).  

No Turkey Vultures have shown up; there have been several reports in Colorado already this year.

Washington Park & Aurora Reservoir

February 11, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Terry Michaels and I returned to Washington Park (Denver) hoping to get a better photo of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  It had been relocated yesterday.  The sapsucker was again in tree #5 (near Lily Pond).  Again, we only saw parts of the bird at any one time, no great photo.

A drive through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams) did not find any uncommon birds today.

Still hungry for a good bird sighting (not to eat, hungry?), we headed to Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) on this beautiful day.  Temperatures reached 54 degrees; winds were 9-10 mph with gusts to 21 mph.

The ice was melting fast.  Again, we hiked in from the southern entrance and scoped the lake from the bench at mile 2.5.

Gull numbers were greatly reduced today.  However, hundreds flew in from the north (DADS disposal site) in the afternoon.  Gulls included one Thayer's, two Lesser Black-backed and one Glaucous Gull. 

Another Thayer's Gull and a Mew Gull were spotted from the parking area north of the swim beach.

The White-winged Scoter was closer to the northeastern corner than my previous visits.

We drove the Jewell-Yale loop (Arapahoe) near sunset.  No Short-eared Owls were found this evening.

Back in the Jackson County Mountains

February 8-10, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca & I headed back into the Jackson County mountains for a few days.  It snowed mostly at night; there was little accumulation on the "warm" roads.

February 8

Shortly before midnight (2/7) we heard a Boreal Owl at the western end of the upper parking area for Joe Wright Reservoir.  Winds were surprisingly calm (less than 4 mph).

Two additional Boreal Owls were heard just west of the Cameron Pass Summit (now after Midnight).

We slept late into the morning missing any chance at finding Greater Sage-Grouse walking to their leks.

The resident American Three-toed Woodpecker north of the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center was not found this morning.  No Rosy Finches were seen at the feeders (we stopped three times during the day).

We enjoyed a slow snow shoeing trip in the Colorado State Forest.  Traveled to a friend's ranch in the afternoon where 200 Rosy Finches (3 species) also visited.

No Boreal Owls called around the Ranger Lakes area this night.

February 9

A Boreal Owl was heard calling about an hour before sunrise at the Crags Campgrounds (and no, we do not camp there, preferring a warm cabin instead).

Our early rising allowed us to drive Jackson County Roads 26+.  Unfortunately, no Greater Sage-Grouse could be found.  We did not confirm any lek visits yet this year.

The resident male American Three-toed Woodpecker was heard drumming north of the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center (north of hwy 14).

Today we cross-country skied in the Colorado State Forest.  More territory can be covered than when we are on snowshoes.

It was a beautiful day to be in the mountains.  Partly cloudy skies, temperatures cool enough to allow getting hot and sweaty.

We traveled up Gould road, found no Rosy Finches or Boreal Owl (after dark), returned early in the evening for us to a warm cabin.

February 10, 2017

Rose early and continued our drive around Jackson County Roads west of Coalmont in search of Greater Sage-Grouse.  This morning we found four Greater Sage-Grouse walking to the same area.  Perhaps we discovered a "new lek".  Future trips may uncover the mystery.  The birds were not displaying however.

We returned to Denver by way of Pawnee National Grasslands (Weld) and Crow Valley Campgrounds.  Nothing uncommon was added to our trip list.

Later I walked to the western side of the dam from the parking area north of the boat storage areas.  The White-winged Scoter was below the northern side of the dam today!

Arapahoe County Reservoirs

February 7, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Another great winter day, temperatures achieved 62 degrees; winds equaled 11 mph with gusts to 18 mph.

I scoped Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) shortly after Noon.  A Lesser Black-backed Gull was with a few Ring-billed Gulls on the ice at Pelican Point (northeast boat ramp area).

Later, I hiked down to the Aurora Reservoir bench at mile 2.5 from the southern entrance.  The two coves (Senac & Lone Tree) were mostly ice covered.  That is where most of the gulls were standing on the ice.

Today's Gull count included four Lesser Black-backed, four Thayer's, one Great Black-backed and one Glaucous Gull.  Hundreds of Ring-billed, at least two California and half a dozen Herring Gulls were also out there.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Drive Through Cherry Creek State Park

February 6, 2017

Richard Stevens:

The day was filled with chores.  Temperatures were in the lower 50s; winds were 8-10 mph. 

I passed through Cherry Creek State Park (Arapahoe) and scoped the lake, now only 60 percent ice covered.  Two Bald Eagles stood on ice in the middle of the lake.

No uncommon gulls were detected.  A Northern Shrike was southeast of the gun range entrance.

Eight American Robins flew about the entrance to the Prairie Loop.  I thought a Varied Thrush was among them.  Unfortunately, a truck drove by and scattered the Robins and I was unable to relocate the possible Thrush.

Washington Park and Barr Lake

February 5, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures again reached near 60 degrees.  Winds were 7-8 mph.  Rebecca and I returned to Washington Park (Denver) hoping for a better photo of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  Doug Kibbe relocated the sapsucker yesterday.

It took about 20 minutes to spy the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in one of its favorite trees (#5).  Unfortunately, we only saw parts of the bird at anyone time.  After about 45 minutes, we abandoned the chance of getting another photo (see photo on the Colorado Birding Society's Photo Library:

We continued enjoying the fantastic day with a walk at Barr Lake (Adams).  Both a Barn Owl and Long-eared Owl were relocated.

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening along the DIA Owl Loop.  That is for us, Mike McCoy relocated one along Gun Club Road, Third Creek area.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Aurora Reservoir

February 4, 2017

What a beautiful winter day in Colorado.  Temperature reached 59 degrees; winds were clocked at 5-6 mph.

First, I walked to Aurora Reservoir from the south side entrance near Southshore Parkway & Quantock Street.  I could see from the top of the hill/road that the many gulls were just off the bench at mile 2.5.

Hundreds of Ring-billed Gull were accompanied by at least four Thayer's, two Lesser Black-backed, at least two California, one Iceland,  one Glaucous, two Great Black-backed, and two Glaucous-winged looking gulls.

Later I drove to the northern entrance and walked to the western side of the dam.  The White-winged Scoter was below the northern end of the dam.  Few geese were on the lake today.

My birding day ended with a drive along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver).  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

Drive Up Rist Canyon

February 3, 2017

Another snowstorm was predicted for the Front Range and mountains just to the west.  Rebecca Kosten and I drove up Rist Canyon (Larimer) before heading for the warmth of home.

On the drive up Rist Canyon, Rebecca spotted a Northern Pygmy-Owl in the willows just four feet off the ground.  We were just west of the old wooden fence line.

An American Three-toed Woodpecker was along the south side of Rist Canyon Road and just east of Whale Rock (100 feet east of Whale Rock Road).

Temperatures were only 25 degrees back in Denver.  We passed on any additional birding.

Search for Owls in Foothills and Mountains

January 31 to Februay 2, 2017

January 31, 2017

We headed up to Gould by way of Weld County.  A few Lapland Longspurs were found along County Road 49.

Later we searched Horsetooth Mountain Park without finding any Northern Pygmy-Owls.  Stops are several of the Campgrounds/picnic areas along Highway 14 also added no owls to our trip list.

February 1, 2017

Shortly after midnight, Rebecca Kosten and I heard a Boreal Owl just west of Cameron Pass.  Winds were quite strong, the soft calling Boreal Owls are quite difficult to hear.

Shortly before sunrise, I went by the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center (Jackson).  Only one Brown-capped Rosy Finch appeared.  The male American Three-toed Woodpecker was heard drumming north across Highway 14.

We cross-country skied around the Colorado State Forest; no uncommon birds were encountered.

February 2, 2017

Rebecca and I drove into Larimer County within 5 miles of the Summit of Cameron Pass.  Winds were less than 15 mph, which is great for up there.

A heard a Boreal Owl when we parked at the west end of the upper parking area for Joe Wright Reservoir.

We backtracked to Coalmont and drove Jackson County Road 26 before sunrise.  Two Greater Sage-Grouse were just north of Jackson CR 26b.

After breakfast in Walden, we watched a flock of 200+ Rosy Finches flying over fifth street area.  All three species were picked out of the flock, which unfortunately did not land.

At a friend's ranch east of Walden, we watched another 350+ Rosy Finches (three species)!

Ranger Lakes area had no uncommon birds today.  The Boreal Owl just west of Cameron Pass called again about 60 minutes after civil twilight.

Another Search for the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Washington Park

January 30, 2017

Richard Stevens:

While doing chores I stopped by Washington Park (Denver County) hoping to get a better photo of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. 

The drumming head of a bird that could have been the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was higher in tree #5 than last Saturday.  It eventually flew north across the main road. 

I did not see it well enough to call it a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  It acted more like a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker than a Northern Flicker.  I left it undecided ID.