Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Birding Denver/Aurora Today

May 2, 2017

Richard Stevens:

I enjoyed a day of birding around Denver/Aurora.  Temperatures briefly reached 52 degrees.  Winds and weather varied from partly sunny to rain. 

A stop at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) early in the morning found the Northern Parula.  He emerged from the Wild Plum bushes around 8:30 am.

A walk down to the Pelican Point sand spit found two Willets, a Solitary Sandpiper and a Baird's Sandpiper.

My next stop was Lowell Ponds Wildlife Area (Adams).  I spent an hour or so circling the Wildlife Area.  The Black-bellied Plover reported yesterday was not found.  The Wildlife Area has great potential with many ponds and Clear Creek running through the middle of it.  I do not know why more birders do not visit the Wildlife Area.

Continuing west along Clear Creek, I stopped at Wheat Ridge Greenbelt (Jefferson).  The highlight was a Broad-winged Hawk. 

The plan was to continue southwest to Harriman Reservoir Park (Jefferson) & Bear Creek Lake Park (Jefferson).  Traffic was rather bad and I nixed that idea and stopped at Red Rocks Park (Jefferson).  Nothing uncommon was found behind the trading post.

Turning east and trying to get out of traffic, my last stop of the day was Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).  It was pouring down rain when upon arrival.  I scoped the lake for an hour from the swim beach pavilion. 

Two White-winged Scoters were quite far off to the northeast.  Later I found them again when I walked the northern dam.  Pairs of Greater Scaup and Lesser Scaup were closer to the mouth Senac Cove.

Four Spotted Sandpipers and two Bonaparte's Gulls were at the swim beach.

When the rain stopped, I drove around to the scuba area and walk back west to the end of the dam.  Five additional Spotted Sandpipers were observed walking the downside of the dam.

A flock of nineteen Sanderlings flew to the northwest corner of the dam.  It is the most I have seen at one time!  Two Willets were also at that corner.

As I walked back to my car, I was thinking that the Common Loon reported yesterday was not seen.  Just then, a bird in the southeast corner of the scuba cove stretched its wings; it was the Common Loon.

The rest of the afternoon was spent stopping along Quincy Road and later CR 97 and scoping the State Trust Lands for Long-billed Curlew; none was found.

After dusk, I scoped the farm at Picadilly Road and Jewell (Arapahoe).  No Barn Owls or Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.  The resident Eastern Screech-Owl(s) did not respond to my recordings.

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