Friday, March 31, 2017

Cherry Creek Reservoir & Rocky Mountain Arsenal

March 31, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Skies were overcast most of the day.  Rain turning to snow arrived late in the afternoon.  Temperatures only reached 47 degrees, cold after yesterday's 66 degrees. Winds were 10-11 mph with gusts to 16 mph.

We had to go to Aurora, CO today for traffic court (I was framed!), got some birding in afterwards. 

Few birds moved around Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe), although, Black-billed Magpies were in high numbers.

I try not to report unidentified birds, however.  We observed a bird fly from the model airplane field to the surrounding high grasses that appeared to be a Sagebrush Sparrow.  The bird was not relocated in the following 45 minutes.  We do not have time to return tomorrow; perhaps someone else will find it?

Reminder: Many of the Sagebrush Sparrows found at Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas) are seen after a spring snowstorm.  The storm is rolling in here at midnight.  Regrettably, we will not have time to get down there Saturday.

A Common Loon in sharp looking breeding plumage was on Lower Derby Lake in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County).  The majority bird was Northern Shovelers with a few Lesser Scaup and two Double-crested Cormorants.

Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls were among sixty+ Ring-billed, two California and one Herring Gulls. 

Sometime after last Sunday, they did a controlled burn at Lake Ladora.  The lake had to be drained first but is refilling now.  I forgot to ask the ranger how deep the two lakes are.  They cannot be very deep; fisherperson's walk far off shore at Lake Ladora.

We drove the new wildlife self-driving tour.  Burrowing Owls were found in two locations: just south of the turn onto 88th avenue (north of mile 5.0) and near the intersection of Havana & 88th avenue (mile 7.0).

Fifty or so Bison were resting on the road at 72nd avenue & Yosemite Street.  They are massive impressive animals!

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