Friday, December 29, 2017

Jackson County & the Eleventh CoBus Christmas Count

December 27-28, 2017

Richard Stevens:

December 28

Before heading back to Denver, Terry Michaels and I went into the Colorado State Forest.  We found two additional Boreal Owls.

The male American Three-toed Woodpecker was found north of the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center and Hwy 14.

Rebecca Kosten and I returned by way of Fort Collins.  A detour to Rawhide Reservoir (Larimer) relocated the three Trumpeter Swans.

Temperatures reached 38 degrees at Briggsdale.  Anemometer readings were 7 mph with gusts to 17 mph.

A brief walk around Crow Valley Campgrounds (Weld) found a Common Redpoll north of the group picnic area.  Missed: any Long-eared Owls at Briggsdale Cemetery or the Work Station.  No Eastern Screech-Owls were found in the Campgrounds.

We timed our trip to be around Lower Latham Reservoir (Weld) about an hour before sunset.  A Short-eared Owl was found north of Lower Latham Reservoir (along CR 51).  Later a second Short-eared Owl was observed flying over the cattails south of Lower Latham Reservoir.

December 27

The eleventh CoBus sponsored Colorado State Forest Christmas Count was conducted today.  Sixth birders and eight feeder watchers participated.  The feeder watchers contributed most of the numbers!  Temperatures only reached 34 degrees.  Winds were 13 mph with gusts to 23 mph.  Several gusts just after midnight on Cameron Pass reached 36 mph.

Several of us searched for owls shortly after midnight.  One Boreal Owl was found just west of the Cameron Pass summit (restroom pullover).  Another was relocated south of the Crags Campgrounds.

Before sunrise, we drove outside the Christmas Count circle and found one Greater Sage-Grouse walking along Jackson County Road 26, then returned to the count circle.

Terry Michaels and Sue Ehlmann spent several hours inside the count circle searching for a Greater Sage-Grouse for the count.  Eventually they did find one!

Many birds visited the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center.  Unfortunately, none was Rosy Finches.  The best birds were a pair of Pine Grosbeaks and half a dozen Evening Grosbeaks.


Boreal Owls (4)
Long-eared Owl 
American Dipper (unusual find in winter)
Greater Sage-Grouse (1)
Common Redpoll (1)
Rosy Finches (531 Gray-crowned, 4 Black Rosy, 89 Brown-capped)

Totals: 51 species  (complete list on January 2018 "Colorado Field Notes")

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