Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Drive Into Eastern Arapahoe & El Paso Counties with Detour to Douglas County

April 27, 2018

Richard Stevens:

On this spectacular spring day, temperatures reached 67 degrees.  Winds were 6-7 mph with a couple of 14 mph gusts.

My plan was to stop at the Hwy 86 bridge and then continue to eastern Arapahoe & Elbert Counties.

I detoured to Salisbury Equestrian Park (Douglas) and found water levels quite low.  Nine Marbled Godwits, eight Willets and two American Avocets walked the shore.

The stop at the highway 86 bridge over Cherry Creek (Douglas) was a great.  Two Eastern Phoebes (assumed male) chased a third (assumed female) toward the Veterinary Clinic ranch.

A fourth Eastern Phoebe was perched in a willow tree along the bridge.  After one of the first three returned, the pair flew down to the willows along Cherry Creek.  They hawked insects just below for the twenty minutes I stayed.

A Burrowing Owl was north of County Line Road at (where the pavement ends).  The county line does not run along County Line Road but crosses from Arapahoe to Elbert County near there.  

A McCown's Longspur flew from Elbert to Arapahoe County at 0.2 miles east of Antelope Road.

I walked along the County Line Road at the Kiowa Creek Bridge.  No Red-headed Woodpeckers have returned to where they nested north of the bridge last year. 

A male Wild Turkey chased two females along the edge of the Arapahoe County Open Space east of the Bridge.  A Blue Jay, House Wren and my first Bullock's Oriole of 2018 were also along the creek.

Three Burrowing Owls were west of Arapahoe CR 129 at 0.7 miles south of Orchard Road.  Just north of the intersection is the location of Dickcissel sightings the past three years.  None was around today.

The other Dickcissel location is along CR 30 at 0.1 miles east of CR 129.  None was there today.

One Burrowing Owl stood on a prairie dog mound along Arapahoe CR 30, 0.3 miles east of CR 149.

A Sage Thrasher was along Arapahoe CR 161 just south of Berry Road.  About 0.1 miles mile farther south along CR 161 is the large cottonwoods where Cassin's Kingbirds nested in 2017.

Two Loggerhead Shrikes perched in a cottonwood at the cut hill along CR 42 at 1.7 miles east of Arapahoe CR 161.  Another pair was at the intersection of CR 161/42.

I also checked the north end of the Arapahoe County Open Space (Arapahoe CR 30, west of Bradbury Road).  A Cassin's Sparrow was observed here 6/112017 to 6/16/2017.  None was encountered today (again too early).

Arapahoe CR 18, east of CR 157 was a good road for Lark Buntings, Dickcissels, and Grasshopper Sparrows.  None was found today (nor expected as it is just a few weeks early).

No Short-eared Owls appeared along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver) this evening.

No comments: