Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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.

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