Sunday, October 22, 2017

Guanella Pass and Arapahoe County

October 21, 2017

Richard Stevens:

David Penn, Mark James (both from Tennessee) and I headed up to Guanella Pass (Clear Creek County) for a White-tailed Ptarmigan search.  It took less than 20 minutes to find six Ptarmigan west of the Rosalie & 603 trail intersection!

A male American Three-toed Woodpecker drummed on one of his favorite trees near the Guanella Pass Campgrounds (below the switchbacks).

Clark's Nutcracker, Gray Jays, Red Crossbills, a few common mountain species were found along Guanella Pass Road.

After dropping them off back in Denver, I detoured through Arapahoe County on my way home.  My target bird was the Pomarine Jaeger reported yesterday at Cherry Creek Reservoir.

The Pomarine Jaeger was never found.  While scoping the reservoir from the Lake Loop (best sunlight especially in the afternoon) I relocated the Red-necked Grebe.  It was swimming along side a Western Grebe in the middle of the lake.  While booting up my camera, a fishing boat ran over them and they flew.  I was not able to relocate them again.

Other birds found while looking for the Jaeger included the Common Loon swimming below the dam and a flyby Bonaparte's Gull. 

Pelican Point has no shorebirds.  Several hundred gulls were mostly Ring-billed Gulls with a few California Gulls and a Herring Gull.  Missed the Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Quincy Reservoir has a high number of American White Pelicans, few gulls and no Jaeger or loons.

Aurora Reservoir had many gulls swimming in the middle of the lake.  Winds were 12-13 mph with gusts to 24 mph.  A Common Loon swam below the northwestern corner of the lake.  No jaegers found.

I drove the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver) about 30 minutes before sunset.  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.  It seems that the Burrowing Owls have departed for southern wintering grounds.

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