Thursday, June 29, 2017

White Ibis Still At Clear Creek Valley Park

Email sent by Richard Stevens to the cobirders listserve:

June 28, 2017

Richard Stevens:

It is not always a good idea to listen to others.  When I arrived at Clear Creek Valley Park three birders said the White Ibis was not around today.  I walked around anyway.  The White Ibis was along the shore of the most southeastern pond, northern half.  The white bird blended into the whitish rocks.  I let a couple of other birders know of the sighting, this was 11:00 am.

CoBus Western Slope Bird Breeding Surveys

June 21 to 27, 2017

Amy Davenport:

June 21

The CoBus group started on its month long bird breeding surveys on the western slope.  Birder numbers are down this year to six in two vehicles. 

I do not have statistics on temperatures and wind speeds.  They will have to add them later.  I will summarize the trips from phone calls and text messages as they are going. Participants may vary as the trek goes on; the list includes Richard Stevens, Terry Michaels, Jacob Washburn, Ray Simmons, Dave King and Bill Marks. 

They are recording many "common species" along the trip.  I will not list all of them now, only what we consider uncommon birds.

They departed Denver in the afternoon and went owling in Teller County.  Only one Northern Pygmy-Owl and one Boreal Owl were encountered this night.

June 22

Early in the morning, Richard Stevens and Terry Michaels drove up to the Manitou Experimental Forest.  Highlights included two Flammulated Owls and one Northern Pygmy-Owl.

After the rest of the group woke, they stopped at Mueller State Park, Teller County.  A pair of Williamson's Sapsuckers and an American Three-toed Woodpecker was relocated.

They found an additional Williamson's Sapsucker at the Florissant Fossil Beds.  Spinney Mountain Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir did not add rare birds to their trip. 

They spent several hours driving the roads north of Spinney Mountain Reservoir and Hwy 24.  Only one Mountain Plover was found.  It was north of hwy 24.  The San Juan Street bird was not relocated.

Four Pinyon Jays flew around Trout Creek Pass, Teller County.

Juniper Titmice and Bushtits flew around the Buena Vista Overlook.  After dark, they found two Northern Saw-whet Owls on the BLM Land north of the overlook.  They had split up, the southern group struck out south of hwy 24.
June 23, 2017

Owling up Cottonwood Pass was not successful.  Group A (rste, tmit) run into a White-tailed Ptarmigan and two Brown-capped Rosy Finches at the top of the Pass. 

Farther down they also encountered two American Three-toed Woodpeckers, four Pine Grosbeaks, Cassin's Finches, eleven Evening Grosbeaks and four Red Crossbills, Chaffee County.

Group B (jwas, rsim, dkin, bmar) found a pair of Purple Martins, an American Three-toed Woodpecker, Pine Grosbeaks and Cassin's Finches on the road to Alpine, Chaffee County.  Four Pinyon Jays flew around Alpine, Chaffee County.

Owling after dark: none; high winds that night

June 24

Group B (jwas, rsim) took hwy 50 west.  They found five American Three-toed Woodpeckers at the Monarch Pass pullover area, Chaffee County.  Two additional American Three-toed Woodpeckers were farther west, Gunnison County.  Two Brown-capped Rosy Finches flew around the Ski Area, Chaffee County.

Group A (rste, tmit, dkin, bmar) drove over Marshall Pass.  Recommend a 4-wheel drive for this trip.  They encountered in Chaffee County four American Three-toed Woodpeckers, two pairs of Williamson's Sapsuckers, Olive-sided Flycatchers, Plumbeous Vireos, two Purple Martins and ten Red Crossbills.

A Northern Saw-whet Owl was relocated at O'Haver Lake, Chaffee County.  Owling stops were done by previous year's gps waypoints.  They found Flammulated Owls (5) over two locations.

Where the road drops into Saguache County they found two American Three-toed Woodpeckers another Purple Martin and several Williamson's Sapsuckers.

Two Flammulated Owls were found before Marshall Pass enters Gunnison County.

Group B did not have the same luck; they found no owls while stopping many times along hwy 50 in Gunnison County.

June 25

Before sunset, Group A (rste, tmit, dkin, bmar) drove down Gunnison 38 Road.  They found five Gunnison Sage-Grouse north of CR 38A.  They ran across another Gunnison Sage-Grouse in Saguache County.

Group B (jwas, rsim) found one Gunnison Sage-Grouse crossing 887 Road.  Later they hiked the Neversink Trail.  One Least Flycatcher and two Veery were found. 

They headed to the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (Montrose).  Four Dusky Grouse were found.  Other birds seen two Fox Sparrows, Evening Grosbeaks, White-throated Swifts, two Pinyon Jays (East Portal Campgrounds), Spotted Towhees, Green-tailed Towhee, Virginia's Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Prairie Falcon.

Group A went up Quartz Creek roads, Gunnison County.  Dave King and Bill Marks found a White-tailed Ptarmigan and four Pinyon Jays on Cumberland Pass.

While Stevens & Michaels saw several Rufous Hummingbirds at TinCup.  A family of two adult and two young American Three-toed Woodpeckers were found on the road to Mirror Lake.

After sunset, the group was back together and found a Northern Pygmy-Owl near Cumberland Pass.  It was another windy night, which did not help owling attempts.

 June 26

Richard's broken toe prevented long hikes.  Terry and he chose Cimarron Pass Road, Gunnison County. 

On the trip down, they stopped at three ranches where Yellow-billed Cuckoos have been recorded in past years.  They found one at private ranch #1 and heard that one or two were heard at private ranch #3, which they could not find.

At Cimarron Campgrounds they found one Dusky Grouse, briefly heard a Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Six American Three-toed Woodpeckers were eventually found.  Two more were seen at Fish Creek Reservoir.

Highlight at Silver Jack Campgrounds was a Hooded Warbler (four of the last five years now).  Dusky Grouse, American Three-toed Woodpecker, and a pair of Williamson's Sapsuckers added seen here.

Highlights of the day were a White-winged Crossbill at Owl Creek Pass and a Boreal Owl responded to recordings.

Group B (jwas, rsim, dkin, bmar) drove to Schofield Pass.  After several hours, they found a pair of White-tailed Ptarmigan.  Other birds included Pine Grosbeaks, a Williamson's Sapsucker, Fox Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler, and a flyby Rufous Hummingbird.

A drive up Kebler Pass added four Purple Martins (two sites), another American Three-toed Woodpecker, a Dusky Grouse and a pair of Williamson's Sapsuckers.  After dark, a Flammulated Owl answered their recordings.

June 27

Group B (jwas, rsim, bmar) drove to Taylor Park Reservoir.  A detour to Roaring Judy Fishing Unit found a Hooded Warbler.  That is uncommon for the area.

Few birds were on Taylor Reservoir.  An American Three-toed Woodpecker and six Band-tailed Pigeons were found at the Lake View Campgrounds across CR 742.

Owling was successful.  Northern Pygmy-Owls (two, 2 Locations), Northern Saw-whet Owl (1 at last year's Location) and Flammulated Owls (2, at different locations).

Group A (tmit, dkin) first drove with Stevens down Gunnison CR 32 and then CR 38.  Three Gunnison Sage-Grouse were again along CR 38 north of 38A

Stevens left the group, which then drove down Hwy 149 with detour on Sapinero Mesa (Gunnison CR 26).

Highlights included a Williamson's Sapsucker and American Three-toed Woodpecker along Sapinero Mesa Road.  A Grace's Warbler along the Cutoff.  Super highlight: a Gunnison Sage-Grouse emerged from ponderosa pines at intersection above.

A Black-throated Gray Warbler was found along the Gateview Plateau.  Six Pinyon Jays were seen at Alpine.  A Northern Pygmy-Owl responded to a recording at Alpine Tunnel trail.   

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Unsuccessful Search for Common Poorwills On the Colorado Plains

June 21, 2017

Rebecca Kosten:

Richard and I got out early this morning before the day was too hot.  Richard wanted to check on two places where Common Poorwills had nested in Arapahoe & Elbert County in the past.  Alas, we found no Common Poorwills.

Burrowing Owls are multiplying at Third Creek & West Cargo Road, Trussville & 114th Avenue and Gun Club Road south of 112th Avenue. 

A Dickcissel was heard along Strasburg Road about a half mile south of I70.  One Northern Mockingbird was still at the hill cut along Arapahoe CR 42 at a mile east of CR 161.

Three Hour Hike around Welch Park

June 20, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached a record high 99 degrees today.  Winds were 3-4 mph.  It was hot.

I stretched my legs with a three hour walk around Welch Park and neighborhood in search of the Red-bellied Woodpecker reported earlier in the day.

I (or anyone else that I have heard) did not find the woodpecker.  A few birds were in the Park proper including White-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-throated Warblers, Blue Jays, Bullock's Oriole and Downy Woodpecker.

According to my GPS, I walked 4.6 miles.  Route: twice around Welch Park, every road in 0.5 mile radius of Park and down Highline canal to Florida Avenue and back.  Speed was slow due to my broken toe.

The highlight of my hike was along the South Quebec Way trail (Highline Canal). A frequent walker pointed out an Eastern Screech-Owl!  Thanks Ruth!  It pays to talk to residents in any area one birds!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

White Ibis at Clear Creek Valley Park

June 19, 2017

Richard Stevens:

While out doing chores, I received the text message about the White Ibis at Clear Creek Valley Park (formerly called Lowell Ponds Wildlife Area--Northern Section (Adams County).

The bird was at the extreme eastern pond when I arrived.  Eventually it flew to the swallow pond just south of the parking area.

Temperatures reached the low 90s today.  Winds were 7-8 mph.  It was hot.  I went back to my long list of chores.

Cool Drive in Eastern Arapahoe County

June 18, 2017

Richard Stevens:

After the US Golf Tournament ended, Rebecca and I went for a drive in Eastern Arapahoe County.  Temperatures dropped in the evening; a cool breeze blew across the plains.

A Dickcissel was relocated along Strasberg Road approximately a half mile south of I70.  Both a singing Northern Mockingbird and Cassin's Kingbird were at the hill cut along CR 42 at a mile east of CR 161.  A Burrowing Owl continues along CR 30, east of CR 149.  A Common Nighthawk was on a telephone wire near CR 30/CR 129.

Trip to Guanella Pass

June 17, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rob Berg and I drove up to Guanella Pass from the Grant side (hwy 285).  Besides some nice bird, we missed the heat down in Denver.  The high up there was 68 degrees.  Winds were 12-13 mph with gusts to 22 mph.

Eventually we found a pair of White-tailed Ptarmigan by listening for their soft calls.  The birds were 20 yards or so southeast (uphill) of the Rosalie and 603 trails.

Many White-crowned Sparrows fluttered about the short willows.  We were quite sure that at least two "Timberline" Brewer's Sparrows were found (photographed and recorded audio).

Other birds found included a Slate-colored Fox Sparrow, American Pipits, Wilson's Warbler (kind of high for it?), Prairie Falcon (zoomed by), and Red-tailed Hawk.

At the Guanella Pass Campgrounds, we added a MacGillivray's Warbler, two Pine Grosbeaks and an American Three-toed Woodpecker to our day list.

Unfortunately, we had to return to the heat in Denver.

Trip to Reynolds Park

June 16, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rob Berg and I drove up to Reynolds Park (Jefferson) this morning.  Temperatures reached 82 degrees even in the foothills today.  Winds were a mild 4 mph.

We arrived at Reynolds Park about 60 minutes before sunrise.  A Common Poorwill called from southwest of the main parking area, across South Foxton Road.

A Northern Pygmy-Owl responded to a recording as we walked the Songbird trail.  In the next four hours, we hiked the loop of Elkhorn to Raven's Roost to Eagle's View to Oxen Draw trails. 

We managed to find all of our target birds.  Although it we did not find or expect a Northern Saw-whet Owl during our extensive search.

Highlights included a Dusky Grouse crossing Raven's Roost not far uphill/south of the Elkhorn Trail.  A male Williamson's Sapsucker drummed on a pine tree about 300 yards south of the old service road.

Another Dusky Grouse was found at the top of the Eagle's View trail.  On the trip north/downhill, we encountered a third Dusky Grouse just before the Eagle's View/Oxen Draw intersection.

A male American Three-toed Woodpecker was heard drumming just south of the Eagle's View, Raven's Roost and Oxen Draw intersection.  It took a good 15 minutes to see the elusive bird.

On the trip over to Pine Valley Ranch Park (Jefferson), we stopped several times along the S. Platte River before finding an American Dipper.  Funny little birds jumping into the rapids in search of food.

At Pine Valley Ranch Park, we walked the Narrow Gauge trail.  Nothing uncommon was found.  A Common Yellowthroat was in the willows along Pine Lake.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Return to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal

June 15, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Spent most of the day doing chores but found time to drive over to Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County) in the afternoon.  Temperatures were around 89 degrees at 4:00 pm.  Winds were 6-7 mph.

I parked just west of Second Creek & 64th Avenue for two hours.  At 5:30 pm, the adult Red-headed Woodpecker came to the large cottonwood that is between Second Creek and the grove of dead trees to the west.

Later I walked around the canopy of trees north of 64th Avenue and Chambers Road.  The Yellow-billed Cuckoo that Rebecca and I found on Wednesday could not be relocated.  The Red-headed Woodpecker found Wednesday just north of the grove was also absent.

I did not drive into the wildlife area that is a one way drive, instead went over to the First Creek Trail (outside the eastern side of the Arsenal).

The adult and five young Barn Owls are still there.  I did not detect their advancing age (from my visit of four days ago).

A Great Horned Owl called from the cottonwoods between the First Creek Trail and the parking area at 56th Avenue & Buckley Road.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Another Red-headed Woodpecker Search at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

June 14, 2017

Richard Stevens:

It was another cool superb morning with calm winds.  Rebecca and I returned to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams) to search for the Red-headed Woodpecker.  Yesterday, Peter Pereira sent photos and indicated that at least two Red-headed Woodpeckers were around.

We drove through the Arsenal and stopped at the canopy grove of trees along Chambers Road just north of East 64th Avenue.  The grove was loaded with birds and bird songs.  What a pleasant walk!

A woodpecker was heard at the south end of the grove; however, we were never able to see it through the thick leaves. 

Later, I sighted a Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the south end of the swallow pond in the grove.  If the bird had not switched branches, it would have remained unobserved. 

Abandoning the woodpecker, we drove the rest of the wildlife area.  We scoped several groves of trees where Peter had seen a Red-headed Woodpecker yesterday.  Unfortunately, it was not detected by us.

At one stop, I was able to photograph a singing Brewer's Sparrow.  Another spot added a Grasshopper Sparrow to our day list.  At yet another stop, Rebecca thought she briefly observed a male Bobolink.  Regrettably, the bird did not pop back out of the tall grasses in the next 15 minutes or so.  This stop was near the fire hydrant east of Havana & 88th Avenue.

Burrowing Owls were observed at two stops.  It was such a terrific morning; we resolved to drive the wildlife loop again.  This time we heard a drumming woodpecker at the single cottonwood on the west side of Chambers, just north of the canopy grove of trees.

It took a good twenty minutes before an adult Red-headed Woodpecker emerged from the huge cottonwood with thick leaves!

A brief stop back at the Bobolink spot did not relocate the bird.

After lunch, we drove the Box Elder Creek Loop between 96th avenue and 104th avenue.  No Red-headed Woodpeckers or uncommon sparrows were found today.

Our SUV (washed yesterday) was already dirty from gravel roads.  We drove down Gun Club Road south of 112th avenue and relocated one Burrowing Owl.  Burrowing Owls were also relocated at Third Creek & W. Cargo Road and Trussville Road & 114th Avenue.

A Most Enjoyable Day Driving the Roads in Arapahoe, Elbert and Douglas Counties

June 13, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca Kosten and I enjoyed a superb day of birding before the afternoon heat.  We explored eastern Arapahoe County, south into Elbert County and returned by way of Douglas County.

At 5:00am when we left home, the temperature was in the low 60s.  Winds were mild until late afternoon when 12+ mph winds brought hot winds.

We drove to Strasburg and headed south on Strasburg Road (Arapahoe CR 157).  Two Dickcissel were heard when we stopped approximately 0.5 miles south of I70.

Another two Dickcissel were found along CR 14, east of CR 157.  Several additional birds were seen and heard when we drove south down Flandin Court (which may be someone's driveway although listed as a county road).

Continuing south we detoured west at CR 30 (Quincy Road), took a quick photo of the Burrowing Owl east of CR 149 and then returned east.

CR 30 dead ends at Bradbury Road (Arapahoe CR 173).  One of the two reported Cassin's Sparrows was on a fence post near the entrance to the Arapahoe County Open Space.

Unfortunately, it flew before we could get a photo.  The bird circled overhead for the next 15 minutes or so and then landed about 20 yards into the property. 

There is no public access to the Open Space.  We stayed around for 30 minutes listening to the bird songs in the cool morning.  Western Meadowlarks, Lark Buntings, Red-winged Blackbirds and a couple of Song Sparrows filled the air with their songs.

Then we turned west, drove down CR 161 and turned east at CR 42.  We stopped at one of my favorite "sweet spots", the cut hill approximately 1.0 miles east of CR 161.

A Northern Mockingbird sang the whole time during our 30 minute stay.  Eventually a second Northern Mockingbird appeared.  A pair of Cassin's Kingbirds also called.  Western Kingbirds were just down the road.

We explored the gravel county road and worked our way west to Kiowa-Bennett Road.  More than a dozen Cassin's Kingbirds and nine Loggerhead Shrikes were encountered.

At Kiowa-Bennett Road, we turned south hoping to find somewhere to eat Breakfast in Kiowa.  At Kiowa we detoured south down Elbert Road to the electric building located 4.1 miles south of Hwy 86.

Two Dickcissels were on telephone wires when we arrived.  We may have heard an additional two birds before returning to Kiowa and going west to Elizabeth.

Breakfast, unfortunately was at the Subway in the Elizabeth Walmart.  Hello Angie, if you knew where you lived, we would have stopped by and said Hi.  She donates some of her great photos to "Colorado Field Notes".

We circled Castlewood Canyon State Park by way of Hwy 83 and Lake Gulch Road.  Both Mountain and Western Bluebirds are using bluebird boxes along Lake Gulch Road.

At least four males and a female Bobolink were observed in the field south of the Winkler Ranch entrance (Douglas County).  We stopped at Hwy 86 and Castlewood Canyon Road.  The short walk down to the bridge found an Eastern Phoebe catching bugs and flying to a nest.  We did see a second Eastern Phoebe north of the bridge.

We detoured the City of Parker by way of back roads and stopped at Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).  A Say's Phoebe was the most interesting bird there.

Burrowing Owls were found at Third Creek & West Cargo Road and at the corner of Trussville and 114th avenue.  I had stopped and washed the SUV near Southland Mall so did not drive the gravel Gun Club Road to check on the Burrowing Owls a mile south of 112th avenue.

It was getting hot; we rushed home for cool digs and a barbecue!

Escaping the Heat in Clear Creek & Summit Counties

June 12, 2017

I lead the CoBus trip to Mt. Evans (Clear Creek) on this wonderful summer day.  Five of us skipped the hot temperatures down in Denver while birding around snow piles on the Mountain.

Two Brown-capped Rosy Finches were observed flying around the north side of Summit Lake.  A few American Pipits and Common Ravens also stopped by for a drink.

We used our SUV as a windscreen and scoped the field below and east of the Summit Lake parking area.  Eventually we spotted a White-tailed Ptarmigan off in the distance!  Richard Berg was not able to walk far; that limited our birding range.

Back at the Echo Lake Campgrounds, we only had to walk about 50 yards before finding a male American Three-toed Woodpecker drumming on a pine tree. 

A Barrow's Goldeneye continued on Echo Lake.  Broad-tailed Hummingbirds buzzed overhead.  A Lincoln's Sparrow ran across the trail and a Green-tailed Towhee called from the willows. 

Regrettably, I was not able to find a Pine Grosbeak fairly close to our car.  Terry Michaels and I did see one and an additional American Three-toed Woodpecker along the telephone line, west side of Echo Lake.  It was a good 1/2 mile from the parking area.

Later we drove up Loveland Pass (Clear Creek).  Unfortunately, no White-tailed Ptarmigan were found.

A stop at a friend's home in Summit County added some nice birds to our trip list: Brown-capped Rosy Finches, Mountain Chickadees, Pine Siskins, Gray Jays, Clark's Nutcrackers, Band-tailed Pigeon, White-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatches, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers, Pine Grosbeaks and one Evening Grosbeak.

Nothing uncommon was at the Blue River Water Treatment Plant.  Two Ospreys were found nearby.

Great scenery, good friends and some nice birds, what more can anyone ask for?

Search for the Red-headed Woodpecker at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal

June 11, 2017

Richard Stevens:

After a very hot day yesterday, today felt pleasantly comfortable.  Rebecca and I drove through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams) in search of the Red-headed Woodpecker sighting. 

We could not find a Red-headed Woodpecker or Eastern Phoebe, which has been reported half a dozen times this spring.

Water levels are quite high at Lake Ladora and Lower Derby Lake.  No shorebirds and few waterfowl were around.

My broken toe did not allow a hike to the Rod & Gun Club Bird Blind.  Instead, we drove the new Wildlife Loop.

We were watching a Grasshopper Sparrow in the short tree (only tree) on the north side of the Drive, 10 yards west of mile marker 6 when a Bobolink popped up of the taller grasses on the south side of the road.

Two Burrowing Owls were south of the intersection of Havana & 88th avenue.

Later we stopped at the First Creek Trail (Denver).  Putting our thinking caps on, we guess correctly on where the previously reported Barn Owl could be found.  She now has five young.  See Colorado Birding Society's "recent witness photos" link to see a photo

We came back home before it warmed up in the afternoon.

DIA Owl Loop in the Afternoon

June 10, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Mainly rested today, kept my promise to my feet to not put on hiking boots!

I drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver) late in the afternoon.  Burrowing Owls continue at Third Creek & W. Cargo Road, Trussville Road & 114th and Gun Club Road about a mile south of 112th Avenue.

Did not find any Short-eared Owls this evening.

Looking At the End of Spring Migration on the Eastern Plains

June 7-9, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Terry Michaels and I headed to the Eastern Plains to catch the end of this Springs bird migration.

June 7

Sleep, who needs it.  Terry Michaels and I headed eastern ward to Bonny Reservoir (Yuma).  We enjoyed a terrific birding day.  The best bird was a Black-throated Green Warbler at Hale Ponds.

Other birds were just as exciting three Yellow-billed Cuckoos, two Baltimore Orioles two singing Great Crested Flycatchers a Bell's Vireo all at Hale Ponds.

Another Great Crested Flycatcher was found at the Hale intersection (CR 4 & LL.5) while we searched for additional cuckoos in the tall cottonwoods.  It has been since 7/9/2005 since a Black-billed Cuckoo was found here.  I photographed one here on 6/4/1994.  None was found today.

We walked along the north side of Bonny Reservoir (Highway 385 to east of Foster's Grove Campgrounds) and found another Great Crested Flycatcher, two Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Baltimore Oriole.  The highlight however was a singing and calling Eastern Meadowlark (first reported by Jacob Washburn and Ray Simmons back on May 29.

Two Long-eared Owls, another Baltimore Oriole and two Red-bellied Woodpeckers were found along the south side of the Republican River.

We returned to Hale Ponds at dusk and heard a Common Poorwill and Eastern Screech-Owl.  Nothing responded to an Eastern Whip-Poor-will recording.  I have found them within 10 miles of the nearby Colorado/Kansas border.

Finally, we stopped back at Hwy 385 and CR 3.  Three Eastern Screech-Owls were heard within a mile of the intersection! 

Temperatures reached 79 degrees today.  Winds were 8+mph with gusts to 26 mph.  The wind did not aid our birding.

June 8

Terry & I sat near the Yuma County 45 Lek just before sunrise.  No Greater Prairie-Chickens appeared this morning. 

Temperatures reached 82 degrees later in the day.  Anemometer readings were 6-7 mph in the morning; they reached 14mph with gusts to 23 mph in the afternoon.

We visited briefly several birding areas around Wray (Yuma) and then continued north to Holyoke.  Birds recorded: at Wray Fishing Unit: Northern Cardinal & Eastern Phoebe; at Stalker Pond: Baltimore Oriole; at Sandsage Wildlife Area: nothing uncommon.

We enjoyed better success around Holyoke (Phillips).  The highlight of the day was a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (singing and good views) at the Holyoke Fishing Pond!

An American Redstart fluttered around the Holyoke City Park. 

A long hike around Frenchman Creek Wildlife Area found only a male Baltimore Oriole.  The pond has been dry for years now.  Our Phillips County shorebird spot is no more.

We wandered around Phillips and Sedgwick Counties searching for such rare sightings as Eastern Meadowlarks and "ammodramus" sparrows.  My only Colorado Sharp-tailed Sparrow sighting was at a private ranch in Sedgwick County on 10/11/2000.  Dan Bridges was the first to suggest this location and offer access!

Our birding day ended at Jumbo Reservoir (Logan/Sedgwick).  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening at dusk.  Winds were quite horrible any birds would have been blown to Holyoke.

An Eastern Screech-Owl was heard calling from the north side of the reservoir (Logan County).

June 9

Terry Michaels and I spent the day hiking fourteen miles at Tamarack Ranch WLA (Logan).  First, we drove Highway 138 from Jumbo Reservoir to Crook.  Our target bird, an Upland Sandpiper was spotted just west of Crook.

Temperatures reached only 61 degrees today.  Winds were 3-4 mph with an afternoon gust to 15 mph.  What a nice change from previous days!

A drive up CR 95 south of I76 did not find any Greater Prairie-Chickens or Sharp-tailed Grouse at previous locations. 

Then we parked at the north side of the Platte River at Hwy 55, first walked the western sections of the Wildlife Area and continued east to CR 93.  It was a long but successful day.

Highlights included: Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Bell's Vireos, Great Crested Flycatchers, eleven Red-bellied Woodpeckers, four Baltimore Orioles, two Field Sparrows, two Northern Cardinals, a Green Heron and Eastern Screech-Owls at two spots.

Birding Around Estes Park

June 6, 2017

Richard Stevens:

I joined Marion and John Warren in Estes Park (Larimer) in the afternoon.  We drove up to Medicine Bow Curve and found one White-tailed Ptarmigan.  Rosy Finches escaped us at Lava Cliffs and Rock Cut pullovers.

We returned to Estes Park and hiked up the Cow Creek Trail.  A Williamson's Sapsucker was found just north of the cabins.  A male American Three-toed Woodpecker drummed north of the trail near the stairs (about 0.7 miles west of the trailhead).

At dusk, a Northern Pygmy-Owl was heard west of the Three-toed Woodpecker sighting.   We continued along the trail and over the Cow Creek trail.  Regrettably, no Flammulated Owls were located.

Another Northern Pygmy-Owl was found at a cabin of a friend who lives south of the YMCA of the Rockies.

At our final stop, back in the Rocky Mountain National Park, a Boreal Owl was found (heard) when we walked the Hidden Valley Road!

Continuing Monitoring Boreal Owl Boxes in Jackson County

June 4-5 into the morning of the 6th, 2017

Richard Stevens:

On June 4th and 5th, I finished monitoring my Boreal Owl nesting boxes in and around the Colorado State Forest (Jackson).  This year 129 boxes yielded successful nesting at two boxes.  American Kestrels used two additional boxes and squirrels occupied three boxes.

The weather cooperated nicely.  Temperatures averaged 56 degrees.  Surprisingly anemometer readings stayed between 4 & 9 mph.  That is quite rare for the Colorado State Forest especially at night.

Return to Jackson County By Way of DIA Owl Loop

June 3, 2017

Richard Stevens:

The temperatures on the foothills only reached 75 degrees today.  Winds were measured at 6 mph with gusts to 17 mph.

I circled Adams/Denver County on my trip to Gould.  A Red-headed Woodpecker was at Boxelder Creek and 96th avenue.  No additional woodpeckers were found at 104th avenue.  Zero Cassin's Sparrows were found in the area.

A Ferruginous Hawk along 56th avenue provided for some nice photos.  While a Common Nighthawk perched on a telephone wire just west of Piggott and 114th avenue.

I did not find the reported Great Crested Flycatcher at hwy 36 and hwy 70. Nor did I find the Mountain Plover along CR 38 (piggott road) between 160 & 144th avenues.

Taking Pennock Pass Road back to Gould, several stops were made to listen for Flammulated Owls.  I found a single owl at two different stops!

Return to Denver By Way of Frank Wildlife Area

June 2, 2017

Richard Stevens:

With our monthly CoBus meeting scheduled for Saturday night near Walden, I regrettably needed to return to Denver for an emergency.  A detour home went close to Frank Wildlife Area (Larimer) and I made a quick stop.

Good news, bad news; the good news was that I was able to get half a dozen witness shots of the Black Phoebe within 15 minutes.  The bird was on the south side of the River originally approximately 50 yards east of the County Road 13 Bridge over the Poudre River.

The bad news, while waiting for a better photo a warbler decided he wanted every willow limb upon which the Black Phoebe perched.  The warbler chased the Black Phoebe off limbs four times.  Then the phoebe flew about 150 yards upstream of the River.  Although as a result, I was able to see the Black Phoebe in both Larimer and Weld Counties!

Somewhat good news, the warbler was a male Black-throated Gray Warbler.  It was an interesting exchange and my only birding of the day.

While looking for the Phoebe, I did see a beautiful male Orchard Oriole, Eastern Kingbird and Western Kingbirds.

Oops almost forgot, a Dickcissel was near the alfalfa field within a quarter mile west of Weld County Roads 50 & 17.

Monitoring Boreal Owl Nesting Boxes in Jackson County

May 29 to June 1, 2017

Richard Stevens:

We started my Boreal Owl nesting box monitoring in Jackson County.