Sunday, October 22, 2017

Great Barbecue and Drive Around Arapahoe County

October 22, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I went to a barbecue at a friend's ranch in southeastern Arapahoe County.  Temperatures only reached 62 degrees with winds 9-10 mph (gusts to 21 mph in several locations).

We stopped at several places on the trip east.  Aurora Reservoir had many gulls, none uncommon.  One Common Loon was the only uncommon bird, no jaegers, scoters, rare waterfowl.

Eventually we counted three Eastern Screech-Owls throughout the day.

At Box Elder Creek and County Line Road, we found late migrating House Wren in willows on the Elbert County side of the road.  Just a little to the east, a Ferruginous Hawk perched on a telephone pole. 

An Eastern Screech-Owl was found in its nesting hole on restricted land in Arapahoe County.  CoBus had watched the successful nesting throughout the summer.

Continuing east, we stopped at Kiowa Creek and County Line Road.  The Red-headed Woodpecker family that spent the summer was not found today.  A Blue Jay flew around the cottonwoods on both sides of the road (Arapahoe & Elbert Counties).

Just before leaving, we heard a woodpecker that was not a Red-headed Woodpecker or sounded like a Downy Woodpecker.  It took another 15 minutes to find a male Hairy Woodpecker drumming and calling from the back side of a dead cottonwood.  It was south of County Line Road, Elbert.  I do not believe we had a Hairy Woodpecker sighting in Elbert County.

Our second Eastern Screech-Owl sighting of the day was at a friend's nearby ranch in Arapahoe County.  Later we heard our third Eastern Screech-Owl at the barbecue site in Elbert County!

Birds were scarce today.  However, it was a pleasant fall day to be outside and listening for birds!  BTW, anyone willing to light a barbecue pit, I will buy the meat.  I do not light propane pits, bad history.

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