Monday, July 31, 2017

Afternoon Walk Along the First Creek Trail

July 30, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I decided to walk the First Creek Trail (Denver County) in the afternoon.  Rain had stopped and it was a cool 76 degrees; winds were calm.

One female Barn Owl was hidden quite well under the Light Rail Bridge.  Not well enough, we caught glimpses of it from the trail.

Farther east, a juvenile Great Horned Owl watched us from a cottonwood on the north side of the Creek.

Other birds encountered included a House Wren and Gray Catbird in the marsh area under the Light Rail Bridge, a Wilson's Warbler in the cattails east of the bridge, a Virginia Rail called from the cattails and hundred of Red-winged Blackbirds feeding on the hill at the bridge.  Several Brewer's Blackbirds were in the flock; unfortunately, no Rusty Blackbirds were found.

Many hummingbirds continue to visit our feeders!

Gobs of Hummingbirds

July 29, 2017

Richard Stevens:

This summer, I put up hanging flowerpots under our deck.  Whether the flowers or a hummingbird feeder caught attention, we have enjoyed a cornucopia of hummingbirds. 

In past summers, we usually only see one hummingbird for the whole season.  Although, we have recorded all four of the common hummingbirds observed in Colorado.

Two additional hummingbird feeders were added to spread out the birds.  Exact count cannot be determined because of frantic behavior; however, we have at least four Broad-tailed, two Black-chinned, one Calliope and one Rufous coming to the feeders.  All of them are females.  Nice, however we would have liked a male in the mix.

Rebecca and I drove through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams) in the afternoon.  We have not found an Eastern Phoebe in several trips now.  No Red-headed Woodpeckers were come across.

Three Burrowing Owls were observed along the Wildlife Drive.  Best birds were seen just before leaving the one-way drive.  A male Blue Grosbeak was at the last third cattle guard inside the enclosure.  Five Grasshopper Sparrows flew around the second to last cattle guard!

Birding Weld County

July 28, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Coming down from the mountains, I was able to relocate two Flammulated Owls (different locations) along Larimer County Road 44H (Larimer). 

I spent the morning driving around the Pawnee National Grasslands area (Weld).  One each Mountain Plover was found at a traditional nesting field and along CR 100, east of CR 390.  .  A couple of Burrowing Owls were also along CR 100.

Two Chestnut-collared Longspurs and half a dozen McCown's Longspurs were found along CR 96, east of CR 69.  I had to drive up and down CR 96 several times before finding a Cassin's Sparrow, Cassin's Sparrow and Brewer's Sparrow.

At Lower Latham Reservoir CR 48 wetlands were dry, no shorebirds.  Beebe Draw Ponds had only a little water, no shorebirds.

Dickcissels appeared to be everywhere south of Lower Latham Reservoir.  Six were 0.1 miles east of CR 47 and CR 42.  Another three were east of that spot.  Stop and listen at the many alfalfa fields.

Another Dickcissel was along CR 40, east of CR 47.  Two additional were along CR 20, east of CR 41 (another alfalfa field).

A stop at Ireland Reservoir found it full of water with little shore.  Only a few American White Pelicans and Western Grebes were on the lake.

My birding day ended at Banner Lakes Wildlife Area.  One Long-eared Owl and Great Horned Owl were the highlights.  I stayed around until dark; no Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

Visited a friend's ranch east of Banner and picked up another two Long-eared Owls and a pair of Great Horned Owls.

Just returned home after a week of owling and no sleep, going to bed and will have to look through photos later.

Search for Rivoli's Hummingbird, Laramie River Road

July 27, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Today I decided to drive up Highway 103 (Larimer) and search several locations where Magnificent Hummingbirds have been reported in past summers.  Now that Magnificent Hummingbird has been renamed Rivoli's Hummingbird, I was hoping to be the first to report a Rivoli's in Colorado.

Note, none was found however later I found out that two had already been reported; female type at Bailey, 7/22 & female type at Golden Gate Canyon State Park, 7/25.  Still it would have been nice to discover one in Larimer County.   Connie Kogler has found them three summers at Tunnel Campgrounds.  Steve Hsu the last on 8/13/2015.

No Rivoli's Hummingbird at Tunnel Campgrounds however I did find a female Dusky Grouse and two young, two Townsend's Warblers, and an American Three-toed Woodpecker.  A Calliope Hummingbird was among many Rufous and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds.

By the way, a Pileated Woodpecker was found at Tunnel Campgrounds in August 2013 and a pair was reported at Chambers Lake a few days later.  No reports since.

Hohnholz Campgrounds contributed another Three-toed Woodpecker to my day list.  Chambers Lake Campgrounds added two additional birds.

On the drive back down Laramie River Road, I made a dozen stops.  A Flammulated Owl was seen at one stop and Boreal Owls were heard at two additional stops.

On the trip up I had set up my well hidden three "owl listening stations".  Listening to the recordings, I picked up additional two Boreal Owls and another Flammulated Owl for the day.

Buffalo Pass Road

July 25-26

Richard Stevens:

I continued to stay up in the mountains and avoid the hot temperatures down on the Plains.  My trip today was up Buffalo Pass Road from the Steamboat Springs side (Routt) over the pass to Larimer County.

West of the Continental Divide and the Summit, the road can be a little rough.  A passenger car is not a good idea for this trip.  Once over the pass, east of the Divide the road is much better.  The views are fantastic! 

This trip is one of many of my favorite (dozens) in Colorado.  Birds, great views, few people, what is not to like?  Weather was good most of the time.  Several thunderstorms may have reduced my owl count.

Eventually I found twenty three American Three-toed Woodpeckers.  In Routt County, two were around the Granite Campgrounds at Fish Creek Reservoir and rest along CR 38 (Buffalo Pass Road).  The other four were along Jackson CR 24 (two around Little Grizzly Creek, two at Hidden Lake).

White-winged Crossbills surely nest in the area.  I confirmed two birds along CR 38 at 0.4 miles west of Buffalo Pass summit.  Another two may have flown over Summit Lake, which is in Jackson County.  They did not stay around long; identification was not conclusive.

Fourteen Red Crossbills for sure were at Summit Lake (Jackson).

One Flammulated Owl was found Forest Road 310, the road to Fish Creek Reservoir (Routt).  Another Flammulated Owl was heard along Forest Road 306.  A Boreal Owl called also!

Another Boreal Owl was heard along CR 45 on the way to Hidden Lake Campgrounds.  After sunrise, a Dusky Grouse was found near the Campgrounds.

Four Williamson's Sapsuckers, another flock of Red Crossbills, Clark's Nutcrackers, Pine Siskins,  both Pine & Evening Grosbeaks, Red-naped Sapsuckers and an American Three-toed Woodpecker were eventually found before reaching highway 14.

After sunset, I walked around Cameron Pass and again heard a Boreal Owl to the west of the summit.  Another was picked up my one of my "owl listening stations" set up at Ranger Lakes.

I could spend a good week exploring the many side trips over Buffalo Pass; there is never enough time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Birding In the Colorado State Forest and area, Jackson Cty

July 19-24, 2017

Rebecca Kosten: transcripts from cell phone messages;

July 19-20, 2017

July 19

Robert Carlson met Richard Stevens in Gould for a couple of days of birding.  They relocated a male American Three-toed Woodpecker north of Hwy 14, across from the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center (Jackson Cty).

Two Boreal Owls were heard along Hwy 14 west of Cameron Pass.  Later they saw a Flammulated Owl in the Colorado State Forest up Ruby Jewell Road.

July 20

At first light, they watched two Greater Sage-Grouse cross Jackson County Road 26b.  Searches at Lake John Wildlife Area and Delaney Buttes found nothing uncommon.

While other areas of Colorado are reporting a reduced number of hummingbirds, that was not the case in Jackson Cty.  They found many Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbirds and a Calliope Hummingbird.

At dusk, they again hiked up Ruby Jewell Road.  The Flammulated Owl did not appear this night; however, seeing a Boreal Owl was the consolation prize.

July 21-22

Richard hiked down the Michigan Ditch today and camped overnight at the base of Mt. Richthofen (13, 940 feet), Never Summer Wilderness.  Highlights were three American Three-toed Woodpeckers and five Boreal Owls.

He hiked above tree line on the morning of 22nd and encountered a female White-tailed Ptarmigan with three young!

He returned in time for the CoBus monthly meeting.  Afterwards, eight birders hiked up Ruby Jewell Road and were rewarded with a Flammulated Owl and Boreal Owl sighting.  Two additional Boreal Owls responded to recordings.

Misses: Long-eared Owls encountered on previous visits.

July 23

In the afternoon, Richard Stevens hiked into the Colorado State Forest (Jackson Cty) for an overnight trip. 

He started out before dusk for a 3.0 mile hike along the North Fork of the Canadian River.  Two Boreal Owls were heard along the hike.  The box where a nesting Boreal Owl was found last month was now empty.  He continued to Jewell Lake.

July 24

The next morning he continued to the northern terminal of Ruby Jewell Road.  From there he dropped down to North Fork Michigan Road and back to his car.  Most interesting birds encountered a Hermit Thrush, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Dusky Grouse and MacGillivray's Warbler.

In the afternoon, he hiked the 3.4 miles up Montgomery Pass Road to the summit.  On the return trip, he received responses from two Boreal Owls and a Flammulated Owl.

Other sightings/hearings included a Black Bear and several Elk.  He saw many signs (clawed Aspens) of Bears.  These hikes are not recommended without previous knowledge of the trails.  Richard during his owl studies has driven ATVs up these trails many times and knows them well.

Conclusion: CoBus Western Slope Bird Breeding Survey

July 13-July 22, 2017

July 13, 2017

Two groups today.  Group A (rste, tmit, rkos, sehl): took Kebler Pass to Ohio Pass to Crested Butte.  They relocated a Purple Martin, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Virginia's Warbler and pair of Williamson's Sapsuckers along the way.  A Northern Pygmy-Owl was heard at Ohio Pass.  Returning west, they found a Flammulated Owl west of the Kebler Pass summit.

Group B (dkin, bmar, jwas, rsim): Found a Lewis's Woodpecker in Paonia (Delta).  An American Dipper at Paonia Reservoir.  MacGillivray's and Virginia's Warblers seen at Bogan Flats Campgrounds.  A dozen Band-tailed Pigeons were at Prospect Ranch.  Highlight: a Chestnut-sided Warbler at the Marble Cemetery.  A Dusky Grouse was just south of the cattle guard on Old McClure Pass Road.  A Northern Pygmy-Owl was near Bogan Flats Campgrounds.  No owls when they returned to the Paonia Reservoir area.

July 14, 2017

Group A (rste, tmit, bmar): birded Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Pitkin County.  Missed Black Phoebe at Crystal River Hatchery.  One Dusky Grouse seen crossing gravel track at Avalanche Campgrounds.  Owls: Northern Pygmy-Owl.  Missed Flammulated and Boreal Owls.

Group B (dkin, jwas, rsim): went toward Spring Park Reservoir, Garfield into Eagle County.  One Lewis's Woodpecker and Orange-crowned Warbler found near Reservoir, Eagle County. 

Returning to Carbondale, they missed Purple Martins at Sunlight Ski Area, did find six Pinyon Jays.  One Northern Pygmy-Owl after dark.

July 15, 2017

Group C (rste, rkos, sehl): returned to Denver by way of Independence Pass.  Richard hiked the north side of Highway 82 and found one White-tailed Ptarmigan.  Rebecca and Sue caught a glimpse of two Brown-capped Rosy Finches flying over the southern side.

Group A & B (tmit, jwas, rsim, dkin, bmar): birded Rifle Gap Reservoir, Harvey Gap Reservoir and Silt area: Little to report.  Five Pinyon Jays at Rifle Gap Reservoir, Garfield County. Common Loon at Harvey Gap Reservoir.  Highlight: Black Swift at Rifle Falls.  

Weather with winds and rain was not good this week for owling.  Few owls were found in their limited attempts.

July 16-17

Today they birded up Coffee Pot Road, Garfield County staying overnight at White Owl Lake.  Final bird count was American Three-toed Woodpeckers (3, at two locations), Purple Martins (4, over two locations), two Pinyon Jays, four Juniper Titmice.

Owling was better.  They located over two nights, four Northern Saw-whet Owls, two Flammulated Owls and one Boreal Owl.

July 18

The CoBus Group (tmit, dkin, jwas, rsim, bmar) went to Sylvan State Park, Eagle County.  Highlight was a male White-winged Crossbill in the State Park.  Willow Flycatchers and two American Three-toed Woodpeckers also at Park.  Windy night resulted in no owls.

July 19

CoBus Group was in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area, Eagle County today.  Highlights included:

Four Purple Martins nesting along Homestake Creek.  One Northern Pygmy-Owl seen here during day.

Dusky Grouse (five total, adult male, adult female w/3 young, 2 locations) crossing road to Campgrounds

Flammulated Owls found at all four locations at GPS points from previous years.

Northern Pygmy-Owl also near previous year GPS

Many Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, all over the place.  At least three Rufous Hummingbirds and one Calliope Hummingbird also.

Campgrounds area various habitats: Cordilleran Flycatchers, Willow Flycatchers, Dusky Flycatcher

Northern Pygmy-Owl at Gold Camp.

Misses: Boreal Owls, most likely in the area, still not found any.  White-tailed Ptarmigan, they did not climb above tree line.

Flammulated Owl was observed at Notch Mountain Creek.  Two Flammulated Owls along Missouri Creek Road.

July 20

Late start after owling most of the night, the CoBus Group went up Shrine Pass, Eagle County.  Highlights were one White-winged Crossbill, a pair of Pine Grosbeaks and two American Three-toed Woodpeckers.  After dark, a Northern Pygmy-Owl called.

July 21-22

Today the Group went up Rock Creek to the A.M. Bailey Birding Sanctuary, Summit County.

An American Three-toed Woodpecker was 1/2 up the trail between the parking lot and Bird Sanctuary.

Williamson's Sapsucker and two Red-naped Sapsuckers at Sanctuary Aspen Grove.

Other birds: two Fox Sparrows, Willow Flycatchers, Hammond's Flycatchers, Cordilleran Flycatchers, Wilson's Warblers, MacGillivray's Warblers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

A White-tailed Ptarmigan was found about 2 miles up the Ptarmigan trail.

Northern Pygmy-Owls called near the Sanctuary after midnight.

July 22

The CoBus Group headed to Gould for Saturday night's meeting.

Nothing uncommon at Wolford Mountain Experimental Recreation Area, Grand County.

Gore Pass was inviting.  Seven American Three-toed Woodpeckers were found: two at Sheep Creek, three at Gore Creek and one at Rock Creek.

Female Dusky Grouse and three young were along Forest Road 243, Gore Creek Loop. 

Misses: any owls and White-winged Crossbills found in past years.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Morning Drive to Pawnee National Grasslands

July 17, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I could not sleep and drove up to the Pawnee National Grasslands area (Weld) arriving an hour before sunrise.  Eventually the temperatures reached 97 degrees; fortunately, we had left before noon.

Our few highlights included:
Two Mountain Plover along CR 100 west of CR 390
One Chestnut-collared Longspur along CR 96, east of CR 69
One Cassin's Sparrow also along CR 96, east of CR 69
Several Burrowing Owls were along CR 100, west of CR 390

We also relocated Burrowing Owls at Beebe Draw Ponds.

Overall, it was an uneventful day; we did enjoy the drive in the cool morning.

Trip to First Creek and Rocky Mountain Arsenal

July 16, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I went for a drive to Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams) in the afternoon.  On the way, we stopped at the First Creek Trail (Denver).  At least three Blue Grosbeaks were east of the Light Rail Overpass and Horse Corrals.

The Barn Owls have now left their nest.  More of the story in Augusts' "Colorado Field Notes"   At least three of the Barn Owls were still in the neighborhood.

At Rocky Mountain Arsenal as we drove the Wildlife Drive, a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker flew from the entrance road to Lower Derby Lake to the cottonwoods on the south side of the road.

At least eight Bullock's Orioles were flying around the grove of dead trees east of Lower Derby Lake.  Dozens of Cliff Swallows flew into the underpass where Eastern Phoebes nested near Potomac and 2nd Creek.

Quite a few juvenile Eastern Kingbirds and Western Kingbirds were observed on the drive.  When we reached the only bridge inside the enclosed section of the Wildlife Drive, an Eastern Phoebe stood on the bridge.

We had not seen an Eastern Phoebe during our several dozen visits this year.  I do not remember any previous reports here and cannot determine if Eastern Phoebes nested at this location this summer.

When I stopped, we saw no other cars.  However, before I could get a photo a ranger popped up from somewhere and scolded me (us) for stopping on the bridge.

At least one Burrowing Owl was south of the road near mile 5.  Another was near mile 8.  Just before exiting the enclosed section, we saw a Cassin's Kingbird on the fence at the gate without a cattle guard.  The gate is several hundred yards into the closed section; unfortunately, it is a one way drive here (nine mile drive to get to this gate).

Two Swainson's Hawks perched in a dead cottonwood south of the Visitor's Center.

Burrowing Owls can still be seen along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver) at W. Cargo Road & Third Creek, Gun Club Road south of 112th avenue and Trussville Road and 114th avenue.

Friday, July 14, 2017

CoBus Western Slope Breeding Survey (cont)

Rest of July 12, 2017

Group B (dkin, bmar, rkos, sehl) searched for Yellow-billed Cuckoos along the Gunnison River.  They started in Paonia and worked their way back to Delta.  None was recorded today.  They ran into a Rufous Hummingbird in Paonia and a Calliope Hummingbird in Hotchkiss.

Group A thought they saw a Scott's Oriole on the west side of Hwy 65 at Orchard City.  Both Groups went back later and searched unsuccessfully for over an hour.

Late in the afternoon, they found a Chukar near Currant Creek and M 50 Drive, Delta County.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Western Slope Surveys Continue

July 10-12, 2017

The CoBus western slope breeding survey continues:

July 10

They split into two groups today.

Group A (rste, tmit, dkin, bmar) birded north of Grand Junction.  They missed their target bird, Scott's Oriole at several traditional locations.  No Chukar or Black Phoebes were found at Horsethief Canyon Wildlife Area.

Two Sagebrush Sparrows and a Long-eared Owl were relocated at Brewster's Ridge.  Late in the day, they found a Northern Saw-whet Owl and three Flammulated Owls at Douglas Pass.

Group B (rkos, sehl, jwas, rsim) went to the Colorado National Monument.  Black-throated Sparrows and two Gray Vireos were at the Devil's Kitchen area.  No Black-chinned Sparrows were reported this year.

A Cassin's Kingbird was found in the Glade Area.  The Campgrounds area added Black-throated Gray Warblers, Juniper Titmice, White-throated Swifts, Pinyon Jays and a Gray Flycatcher.

July 11

Group A (rste, tmit, jwas, rsim, dkin, bmar) started at Coal Canyon, Mesa County.  They found five Chukar on the hill south of the pipe gate at the main parking lot.  At least six Black-throated Sparrows were around the parking lot.  Farther west, they saw two Sagebrush Sparrows. 

On the way to the Grand Mesa, they relocated the Least Flycatcher at Collbran. 

Group B (rkos, sehl)

The groups joined and search much of the night in search Owls.  They found an American Three-toed Woodpecker at Powderhorn Ski Area.  Owl count in Mesa County was two Northern Saw-whet Owls, two Northern Pygmy-Owls and seven Boreal Owls.

In Delta County, owl count was just four Boreal Owls.

July 12

Group A (rste, tmit, jwas, rsim) stayed on the Grand Mesa, Delta County section.

A Northern Goshawk flew up Y35 Drive (near Visitor's Center).  An American Three-toed Woodpecker was farther up the road.

Two Purple Martins were seen flying around Little Bear Campgrounds.

Along Highway 65, east of the Visitor's Center 0.7 miles they saw a pair of White-winged Crossbills.  Before dropping down off the Grand Mesa they counted three Dusky Grouse.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Trip to Mt. Evans

Hello cobirders,

Here's a current and close to Denver report..............

New Colorado birder Tom Jenkins has been birding many of the Denver and foothills loops recently.

Today he went up to Mt. Evans, Clear Creek County.

A Echo Lake they found one Barrow's Goldeneye and an American Three-toed Woodpecker along the telephone poles on the west side of the lake.

They found three Brown-capped Rosy Finches circling the northwest corner of Summit Lake.  A walk east of the Summit Lake parking lot eventually found two White-tailed Ptarmigan.  The birds were about 300 yards from the Mt. Evans Road.

Many American Pipits flew along the road to the top of Mt. Evans.

On the way down, they found another American Three-toed Woodpecker at the Campgrounds.  A pair of Pine Grosbeaks were near the research center.

Good Birding!

Amy Davenport

CoBus Western Slope Breeding Surveys continued

I have been very busy and slack on updating the CoBus Western Slope Breeding Survey.  Hope to catch up and stay current now.

July 1 to July 9, 2017

July 1
Group A (tmit, jwas, rsim, dkin, bmar) spent the night in Ouray.  Owling had been unsuccessful last night. 

In the morning a trip north to Billy Creek relocated the Black Phoebe at the bridge.  Heading south, they found four Black Swifts at the Box Canyon Falls. 

Several stops were made on the trip to Durango.  A pair of Purple Martins, American Three-toed Woodpecker, two Williamson's Sapsuckers, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Cassin's Finches and four Red Crossbills were found at Coal Bank Pass, San Juan County.

An Osprey was seen at Molas Lake, San Juan County.  They found a White-tailed Ptarmigan on the hike to Little Molas Lake.  A Bufflehead and Eared Grebe were on the lake.

Entering La Plata County, they found a Dusky Grouse at the Purgatory Ski Area. 

Forest Road 578 (Bolam Pass Road) goes to Sig Creek Campgrounds, which is actually back in San Juan County.  They found a Boreal Owl near the unnamed lake at the Pass summit.

Group B (rste, rkos, sehl) went to Forest Road 773 in Archuleta County.  It is the site of the 6/19/1999 Mexican Whip-Poor-will record.  Additional sightings were in 6/16/2007 & 7/5/2011 (behl, sehl). 

They wandered around until dusk heard no Poorwills.  No owls were found either.  Their best bird was a Grace's Warbler.  Red-naped Sapsuckers and a Virginia's Warbler were also in the area.

July 2

All the CoBus Groups went to Yellow Jacket Canyon (Montezuma) today.  Then they continued into Utah.

Highlights at Yellow Jacket Canyon included two Lucy's Warblers, three Black-throated Sparrows, Gambel's Quail, Plumbeous Vireo and Gray Flycatcher.

No owls were found on their day today.

July 3

Group A (jwas, rsim, dkin, bmar)  visited Narraguinnep Reservoir, Montezuma County. Highlight was a Black Phoebe.  They found another Black Phoebe and a flyover Purple Martin at McPhee Reservoir.

A Lewis's Woodpecker was relocated in Dolores.  Owl count was zero.

Group B (rste, tmit, rkos, sehl) went up Hwy 145 and Taylor Creek, Montezuma.  They found Grace's Warblers, Virginia's Warblers, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher and Common Poorwill.  Misses: Purple Martins and Black Swifts.  After dark they found a Northern Pygmy-Owl.

July 4

Group B (rste, tmit, rkos, sehl) stayed around Durango today.  They relocated Lewis's Woodpeckers at the Huck Finn Pond area and the Animas Riverwalk at 32nd Street.  They also relocated a Black Phoebe along the Animas Riverwalk, near the Santa Rita Park area.

Group A (jwas, rsim, dkin, bmar) drove south down Highway 550 to New Mexico.  Their search for Black-chinned Sparrows was not successful.  They did have the highlight of the trip.  A male Anna's Hummingbird was seen at Twin Crossing, La Plata. Van Remsen found the last reported anhu in La Plata County on 8/16/2014.

They did relocate two Acorn Woodpeckers and a Lewis's Woodpecker at Wildcat Canyon.

July 5

Group A (jwas, rsim, rkos, sehl) decided to visit Mesa Verde National Park, Montezuma County.  Best bird found was a Long-eared Owl.  Others reported Pinyon Jays, Black-throated Gray Warblers, Gray Vireos, Gray Flycatchers, and Cordilleran Flycatcher.  Misses: the Black Phoebe reported at Morefield Campgrounds on 6/16/2017.  Their only owl sighting was a Short-eared Owl as they were leaving.

They were reminded of the infamous Dan Bridge's arrest for staying overnight in 1991 and recording a Spotted Owl after the park closed.  They were not willing to repeat the incident.

Group B (rste, tmit, dkin, bmar) left before sunrise.  They found Northern Saw-whet Owl, Flammulated Owls, Townsend's Warbler, Virginia's Warbler, and Common Poorwills at Junction Creek Campgrounds, La Plata County.

Later they relocated a Lewis's Woodpecker at Vallecito Reservoir, La Plata. 

They searched unsuccessfully for Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Black Phoebes along the Mancos River trail.  A Lewis's Woodpecker and Calliope Hummingbird in Mancos and Grace's Warblers and an Ovenbird were seen at the State Park.

July 6

Group B (rste, tmit) went to Dove Creek early in the morning.  They found one Gunnison Sage-Grouse up Wilson Draw.

In Squaw Canyon, Dolores County they found Black-throated Sparrows, Gray Vireos, two Black-throated Gray Warblers, Juniper Titmouse and Sagebrush Sparrow.  Highlight was a male and female Scott's Oriole.

Cross Canyon added Sagebrush Sparrows, Pinyon Jays, Cassin's Kingbirds, Gray Flycatcher, Gray Vireo and Black-throated Gray Warbler.

Group A (dkin, bmar, rkos, sehl) west northeast.  They relocated a Black Phoebe, Cassin's Kingbird, and Gray Flycatcher at the Bradfield Bridge, Dolores County.

At Lone Dome Recreation Area, Dolores County their best bird was a Hooded Warbler.

At Glade Lake, they found two Grace's Warblers, two Lewis's Woodpeckers, Gray Vireo, Plumbeous Vireos and Gray Flycatcher.  Their only owl of the day, a Flammulated Owl responded to a recording at dusk.

Group C (jwas, rsim) went Lone Cone Wildlife Area and Groundhog Reservoir, Dolores County. 

They relocated a Lewis's Woodpecker, but the reported Yellow-billed Loon was long gone at Groundhog Reservoir.  Other birds recorded included two Purple Martins, a female Williamson's Sapsucker, a Northern Goshawk.

At Lone Cone Wildlife Area, they added a Black-throated Gray Warbler and Dusky Grouse.  Owling was good; they found a Northern Pygmy-Owl and two Flammulated Owls.

July 7

The CoBus Groups went into San Miguel County today.

At Slick Rock, they found a Black-throated Gray Warbler, Black-throated Sparrows and a Gray Vireo.  The post office has been gone for many years.  Slick Rock was once a great place to find uncommon hummingbirds.

Jacob Washburn and Ray Simmons hiked several miles into Big Gypsum Canyon.  They found two male and a female Scott's Oriole, Cassin's Kingbirds, six Northern Mockingbirds and one Curve-billed Thrasher.   They looked closely at the thrasher as a Bendire's Thrasher was recorded here on 6/24/1999.

Their highlight was a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. One was last reported here on 6/3/1994.  The area is seldom birded.  We wonder how many have visited the canyon in the recent past.

The rest of the group continued to Disappointment Valley.  Their target bird was a Bendire's Thrasher.  Bendire's Thrashers have been recorded and photographed in 6/21/1994 (ksch), 6/24/1999 (rste), 2007, 2008 & 2009 with no reports since.

Two Curve-billed Thrashers were the only thrashers found.  A possible nesting Long-eared Owl was a surprise.

They all camped in the Uncompahgre Plateau the next two nights.

July 8

CoBus Groups spread across the Montrose County section of the Uncompahgre Plateau today.

Highlights included:

Flammulated Owl (2) --Windy Point 
American Three-toed Woodpecker (2)
Purple Martin (2) --Columbine Pass
Dusky Grouse (3) --Columbine Pass
American Three-toed Woodpecker (1) --Columbine Pass
Black Swift --CR 90/east/Divide Rd
American Three-toed Woodpecker (2) --25 Mesa Road

Other birds included Common Poorwill, Williamson's Sapsuckers, Grace's Warblers, Olive-sided Flycatchers and Lewis's Woodpecker.

July 9

Today the CoBus Groups spread across the Mesa County sections of the Uncompahgre Plateau.

Highlights include:

Grace's Warbler
(1) --Jack's Canyon
(2) --Telephone Trail
(2) --Carson Hole

Lewis's Woodpecker
(2) --Divide Forks Campgrounds (CoBus Groups) first 7/9

Flammulated Owl
(2) --Telephone Trail (CoBus Groups) last 7/9
(2) --Jack's Canyon (CoBus Groups) last 7/9

Boreal Owl
(2) --undisclosed (CoBus Groups) first 7/9

Purple Martin
(3) --see website map

Other sightings included two Northern Goshawks, Red-naped Sapsuckers, Williamson's Sapsuckers, Common Poorwill (two locations), Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Pinyon Jays.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Email sent to "cobirders" listserve:

Amy Davenport: I put photos on the CoBus photo library: 

Hello birders,

I flew into Denver to spend time with my kids over the holidays.  Drove over to Richard and Rebecca's to find everyone out of town.  I talked Amy into driving to Aurora Reservoir with me.  We found the 33 Marbled Godwits, eleven Willets and the three young Killdeer at the Scuba Beach.   A Cassin's Kingbird flew around the trees at the scuba beach and then to the northeast of the parking lot.  A Dickcissel called in the same area. Much going on at Aurora Reservoir this July 4th weekend watch out for traffic.

We decided to drive the eastern Arapahoe County loop.  At least one Dickcissel was still north of CR 129 and Orchard Road.  We thought two were singing.  Six Burrowing Owls were west of CR 129 at 0.7 miles south of Orchard.  At 0.1 miles east of CR 129 and CR 30 (Quincy Road) another Dickcissel was on the telephone wires.  Again we thought a second was singing.

The Burrowing Owl was along CR 30 at 0.5 miles east of CR 149.  We saw several more Cassin's Kingbirds and a few Western Kingbirds down CR 169 and east on CR 42.  The Northern Mockingbird and another Cassin's Kingbird were singing at the previously described hill cut one mile east of 169 & 42.

We did not find the Cassin's Sparrow at Bradbury and CR 30.  To this point we had seven Cassin's Kingbirds, four Loggerhead Shrikes, two Grasshopper Sparrows and many Lark Buntings.

At CR 30 and Smith Road we could see two Eastern Kingbirds, two Western Kingbirds and a Cassin's Kingbird.

Good birding, glad to be back temporarily in Colorado!

Jerry Petrosky

CoBus Western Slope Bird Breeding Surveys (cont)

June 28 to June 30, 2017

See previous reports for beginning trip.

June 28

Group B (jwas, rsim, bmar) went to Lake City by way of Highway 149, then drove west on Cinnamon Pass Road, Hinsdale County.

Grace's Warblers and a Rufous Hummingbird were found at Mill Creek Campgrounds.  At Burrows Park Town Site they found an American Three-toed Woodpecker.  American Basin added a flyby Prairie Falcon.  Is this out of place?  Two Brown-capped Rosy Finches flew around Cinnamon Pass.  They spent the night around Animas Forks Ghost Town.  No owls were recorded today.

Group A (tmit, dkin) entered Hinsdale by way of Gunnison CR 27.  They did not find the reported Acorn Woodpecker.  Then they drove Engineer Pass, Hinsdale.  They counted American Three-toed Woodpeckers, two each at two locations.  At North Fork Cutoff they reported American Three-toed Woodpecker (Burrows Creek Road), Brown-capped Rosy Finches and a Northern Pygmy-Owl in San Juan County.  In Hinsdale County they reported an American Three-toed Woodpecker and a Boreal Owl (both groups). A 4-wheel drive vehicle is a must for this trip.

Group C (rste, rkos, sehl) went down I25 to Hwy 160, then west.  One Black Swift was a flyover at Zapata Falls, Saguache.  Found eight Pinyon Jays and Hepatic Tanager at Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Saguache County.  Western Screech-Owls called after sunset.

June 29
Group B found an American Three-toed Woodpecker, Pine Grosbeaks, Evening Grosbeaks and a Rufous Hummingbird at Animas Forks Ghost Town.  They took the southern route to Silverton.  Forest Road 586 in Hinsdale, Forest Road 210 in Ouray County.

Highlight of the day was a White-tailed Ptarmigan up Minnie Gulch Road (long hike).

Group A took the northern route over California Pass.  They relocated a Northern Saw-whet Owl (last year's gps waypoint at Poughkeepsie Gulch, San Juan County).  The day was windy and cold.  No owls reported.

Group C relocated two Dickcissels previously reported at Alamosa/Conejos Counties; CC Road; east of 109 S, Rawinksi.  A Sagebrush Sparrow was relocated at John James Canyon, Conejos County.  A Black Swift was seen flying around Treasure Falls, Mineral County.  After dark a Boreal Owl was found at Wolf Creek Pass, Mineral County.

June 30

Group C found a Black Phoebe and Cassin's Sparrow at the Navajo Watchable Wildlife Area.  Four Pinyon Jays, Lewis's Woodpeckers and Cassin's Kingbirds seen at Navajo reservoir.

Group A (tmit, dkin): A drive toward Sneffels found two American Three-toed Woodpeckers, two Black Swift and two Brown-capped Rosy Finches.  They found four Black Swifts up Black Bear Pass at Bridal Veil Falls, San Miguel County.

Group B (jwas, rsim, bmar): Along Ophir Pass Road toward hwy 149, they counted Black Swifts (3, over 2 locations), a Dusky Grouse and MacGillivray's Warbler.  Highlight was a Calliope Hummingbird at Ophir.  This is early for this hummingbird in Colorado (photographed). Early Ouray/San Miguel records: 6/13-6/23/2008 in Silverton; 6/30/2012 at Lake Lenore, Ouray.