Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Morning at Barr Lake State Park

July 31, 2017

Richard Stevens:

It had been awhile since I spent five hours birding at Barr Lake (Adams).  Conditions were excellent for birding; rain the last couple of days, overcast skies, cool 76 degree temperature at 7:00 am, and no wind.  Regrettably, few birds were around.   I saw no sign that fall migration has reached Barr Lake.

I hiked from mile 0/9 to the north end of the dam mile 6.0, back and to mile 1.5 and back, approximately 9 miles keeping in mind a report of a Semipalmated Plover yesterday.

The highlight was near the start of the trek.  I warbler popped out of the willows near mile 8.9.  In the next 20 minutes, I was able to get views of the whole bird.  Immediately I saw long yellow undertail coverts, which made the tail look short.  I suspected that the bird was at the time an "Oporornis" species.  They are no longer "Oporornis" but "Geothlypis"

The bird had no visible eye ring, yellow throat, little breast band, yellow belly to undertail coverts.  Above the head appeared brownish gray with brownish gray back.  Finally, I saw the yellowish supraloral. 

Fall Mourning Warblers are most likely confused with fall MacGillivray's Warblers.  The bird lacked the facial pattern of a Kentucky Warbler and the bold eye ring of a Connecticut Warbler.  Too bad, a sighting of either would have been a great find.

The lack of eye ring, yellow supraloral, lack of grayish hood, short looking tail indicated Mourning Warbler over a MacGillivray's Warbler, which would show a grayish hood, longer looking tail with shorter undertail coverts, whitish supraloral.

A pair of Yellow Warblers was in the same area.  A female Common Yellowthroat was in the willows near the banding station (picnic table).  Two Ospreys were on the nesting platform northeast of there.

Below the dam, a Hermit Thrush was under Russian Olive trees near mile 6.8.  A Least Sandpiper was below the north end of the dam.

Southwest of mile 0/9, the shoreline was quite weedy.  A few shorebirds walked among the deep weeds.  I picked out an adult Killdeer and one young and adult Spotted Sandpipers and two young.   Best shorebird was a Stilt Sandpiper.

No Barn Owls were seen today.  Nesting appears over as none occupied the nesting boxes.

After lunch and some shopping in Brighton, I drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver) and found Burrowing Owls at their usual summer locations (Third Creek & W. Cargo Road, Gun Club Road south of 112th Avenue and Trussville & 114th).

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

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