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.

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