Sunday, February 25, 2018

Birding Adams County

February 24, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Skies were sunny today with a high temperature of 36 degrees; although it was 32 degrees most of the afternoon.  Winds were 10-11 mph with gusts to 38 mph.  The wind chill made it quite cold.

To be different, I spent the day in Adams County.  My first stop was the South Platte River at I270 (north frontage road to the river).  The continuous clank of my crutches on the cement trail broke the roar of the many cars on the highway.

I was happy to see the bobbing tail of a phoebe south of the Sand Creek footbridge.  Unfortunately, after approaching the bird, it turned out to be a Say's Phoebe and not the Black Phoebe reported several days earlier.

My walk continued south another 200 yards to the water treatment plant bridge over the Platte River.  The island surrounding the bridge support was where I had seen the Black Phoebe back on January 1 (first found by Bob Canter on December 29).

Neither the Black Phoebe nor Long-billed Dowitcher reported many days ago was found.

Next, I drove to the lakes at McKay Street and 100th Avenue.  Hundreds of Northern Shovelers circled in the open water at the west end of the lake.  No Long-tailed Ducks, a few Common Goldeneyes and Hooded Mergansers were also there.

Another hole of open water was at the northeast end of the same lake.  A scope was needed to see the far off ducks.  Two Long-tailed Ducks swam with Common Goldeneyes and other common ducks.  The Adams County Fairgrounds parking area is just north of 100th avenue.

Then, I drove through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.  Lake Ladora was completely ice covered while Lower Derby Lake had a small open water area at its northwest corner.  Four Common Goldeneyes swam with assorted common ducks; no Barrow's Goldeneye was among them.

My birding day ended by parking along 88th avenue about a mile east of Tower Road.  The location is probably the second best spot to find a Short-eared Owl at dusk.  Unfortunately, none appeared this evening.

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