Monday, February 19, 2018

Cherry Creek and Aurora Reservoirs

February 18, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached 67 degrees today.  Winds were 13-14 mph with gusts to 23 mph.

I did not feel like driving 30+ miles to Ketring Park to miss the Brant three days in a row.  Although Terry Michaels called to tell me it was there this morning.    I missed it by 10 minutes yesterday and several hours on Friday.  Instead, I went to Aurora Reservoir by way of Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).

I did not find the Glaucous Gull reported early.  A Common Loon was the consolation.  The two Long-eared Owls were again in the Russian Olive trees along the Gun Range road.

Aurora Reservoir had more birds.  The four Long-tailed Ducks were together off pavilion #4 although quite far offshore.  

Scanning the lake four times, I finally found one of the two White-winged Scoters.  I have not seen both in awhile, hope nothing has happened to the other one.

Several hundred gulls were on the swim beach ice shelf.  One Iceland Gull and two Herring Gulls were among the many Ring-billed Gulls.  

I noticed one of the gulls smaller than the Ring-billed and darker mantled.  It was a Mew Gull!  A Glaucous Gull towered over the other gulls.  Perhaps it spends its mornings at Cherry Creek Reservoir and flies the eight miles east to Aurora Reservoir in the afternoon?

An adult Ferruginous Hawk flew across the length of the lake made a dive down to the gulls and then continued south.

Forty three Pronghorn wandered across the new Pronghorn Natural Area north of Aurora Reservoir.

I drove down the entrance road of the discipline school east of Aurora Reservoir (sorry forgot the name).  I hoped the Northern Goshawk that has been reported at the Reservoir had perched in the cottonwoods along Coal Creek.  It was not found.

An adult Bald Eagle was in the cottonwood with nest along the Yale-Jewell Loop (Arapahoe).  Seventeen Horned Larks fluttered around the same area.

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