Saturday, May 6, 2017

Driving Eastern Arapahoe Roads

May 6, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures soared to a record 86 degrees today.  Winds were 18-20 mph with gusts to 31 mph.  In the afternoon thunderstorms rapidly blew in from the west.  Just as quickly, they disappeared.

I drove the eastern Arapahoe County roads to see what goodies may have been blown into the County.  Nothing uncommon was found.  I checked many of the spots that had interesting birds last year.

I stopped at Coal Creek Regional Park (Arapahoe) where Chris Goulart reported a Northern Waterthrush this morning.  I did not find the warbler in a two hour search.  I met a nice guy who volunteers to watch over the property.  He was recruited to keep an eye out for uncommon birds.

A dozen or so Lark Buntings flew around CR 161 between CR 30 & CR 42.

One Cassin's Kingbird was among the eleven Western Kingbirds found today.  It was in the grove of trees east of Arapahoe County Road 161 and CR 42.  Four Western Kingbirds were also in the area.

No birds flew around the small grove of trees about a mile east of the same intersection.  Last summer a pair of Northern Mockingbirds nested there.

No birds were found in the riparian area lining West Bijou Creek crosses CR 42.  A Burrowing Owl returned to the prairie dog town along CR 30 about half a mile east of CR 149.

A drive down CR 129 to Orchard and back found one Loggerhead Shrike in the area where Dickcissels spent last summer.

Along the drive two Grasshopper Sparrows, three Lark Sparrows, two Brewer's Sparrows and two Song Sparrows were encountered.

A Grasshopper Sparrow was the only bird of note along the Jewell-Yale Loop.

At 6:00 pm, Rebecca and I stopped at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) on our way to dinner.  We sat for an hour at the upper parking area for the northeastern boat ramp.  The Northern Parula did not appear.

NOTE: I would ask: did anyone see the Northern Parula after two female birders played tapes for quite awhile attract the bird?

A quite loud speedboat zipped back and forth below the hill.  We were entertained when first, the engine died several times and then the boat sank!  We watched the two guys with beers in hand sink with the boat and then swim toward shore where another boat picked them up.

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