Monday, October 16, 2017

Afternoon Trip to Cherry Creek Reservoir

October 14, 2017

Richard Stevens:

I navigated the 28-mile trip south to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County) in the afternoon.  Construction on Tower Road and just too many cars makes the drive absolutely no fun nowadays.

Anemometer readings were 16-17 mph with gusts to 22 mph.  An hour later on, the readings equaled 18-19 mph with gusts to 26 mph.

I managed to find a cubbyhole below the parking area for the tower dam and scoped the lake for the next two hours.  Peering into the shiny water (southern sun) from the north side was not the best of views.

The Jaeger chased after gulls first off the Lake Loop and later below the dam.  I caught several glimpses of the Red-necked Grebe among Western Grebes in the middle of the lake.

After being hit in the head with a five-foot branch, I decided to check on a flock of 16 shorebirds that flew below the Lake Loop and landed at Pelican Point.  I was fortunate that it was cold which forced me to wear a fur-lined hat.  Even so, I got a sizeable bump on the top of my head.

Gulls at Pelican Point were mostly Ring-billed, a dozen California and two Herring Gulls, no Sabine's Gull.  The shorebirds turned out to be Long-billed Dowitchers.

As I returned to the boat ramp parking area, a Sabine's Gull flew almost over my head.  Where it came from, I do not know.

Now at the Lake Loop I set up my scope next to the willows along the bank.  Winds had died down to 11-12 mph.  It was now 4:45pm and the Jaeger was not relocated in the next hour.  Where did it go?  I scoped the water and could not find it swimming around.  

The light is better from this side of the lake especially in the afternoon.  I did get good looks at the Red-necked Grebe, which was just a tad closer than from the other side.  One Common Tern flew by several times!

Then I parked near the cattail field at Lake View Drive and Cherry Creek until well after sunset.  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening, also missed the resident Long-eared Owls along the gun shooting range road.

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