Sunday, February 19, 2017

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).

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