Monday, July 10, 2017

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.

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