Monday, February 27, 2017

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.

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