Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Banner Lakes Wildlife Area to Barr Lake

August 15, 2017

Richard Stevens:

I spent about three hours at Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld County) this morning.  Temperatures were in the low 70s, winds less than 4 mph.  First, I walked the southern ponds 4 to 1, then the northern ponds 5 to 11.

No Long-eared Owls were encountered today.  An Olive-sided Flycatcher was hawking insects near Pond 3.  A Townsend's Warbler fluttered about Pond 7.  Surprisingly, few birds were around.

Afterwards I visited a friend's ranch.  The Mountain Plovers that nested on his property seem to have departed.  Two Burrowing Owls continue.  The pair of nesting Long-eared Owls did not appear to have successfully nested this year.  The female did stay on the nest for several weeks.

Late in the afternoon, I hiked at Barr Lake (Adams) from mile 0.5 to mile 8.0.  Few birds were seen between the Visitor's Center footbridge (mile 0.0 or 9.0) to the banding station at mile 8.7.  Once I reached the banding station, many birds were found.  They included eight Yellow Warblers, eleven Wilson's Warblers (only two females), one House Wren, one Western Kingbird and one Western Wood-pewee.

Back at mile 0.0 to 0.5, the Niedrach Boardwalk area I found a male Lazuli Bunting, two Western Wood-pewees, one Olive-sided Flycatcher and a pair of House Wrens between the footbridge and the boardwalk.

At the southwestern end of the boardwalk, I counted 17 House Wrens, 9 female type Bullock's Orioles, two Western Wood-pewees, and a possible Least Flycatcher.  The "empidonax flycatcher" did not sing or call.  It was quite small.

The DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver) is closed to traffic because of major road construction.  I parked at 112th avenue and W. Cargo Road and walked toward Third Creek and W. Cargo Road.  Two Burrowing Owls continue at the prairie dog village there.  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.  I hope to establish a "last date" for Burrowing Owls in the area.  However, the hike while not too long, is time consuming.

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