Thursday, May 31, 2018

Eastern Arapahoe County Roads

May 31, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I drove some of the eastern Arapahoe County Roads in the afternoon.  High temperature was only 82 degrees; it felt much warmer.  The hot winds had sometime to do with that.  Winds were 15-16 mph with gusts to 23 mph on the eastern plains.

Nothing rare was found.  We did relocate the Burrowing Owl along CR 30, 1.7 miles east of CR 149.  Three Burrowing Owls were still along CR 129 at 0.7 miles south of Orchard Road.

We searched several locations where Red-headed Woodpeckers nested last year.  None was found today.  Last year's Dickcissel spots had none yet this summer.

Birds encountered in no particular order or location included two Cassin's Sparrows, four McCown's Longspurs, nine Loggerhead Shrikes, and an out of place White Pelican.  The pelican was on the ground and nowhere near water?

Misses: Red-headed Woodpeckers, Northern Mockingbirds, or shorebirds (Upland Sandpipers or Mountain Plovers).

Eurasian Collared-Doves seem everywhere, as usual.  One tree along CR 42 had fourteen Mourning Doves and two Eurasian Collared-Doves.

Two Common Nighthawks flew overhead around dusk at County Line Road, east of CR 129.

Great Birding Day on Mt Evans

May 30, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Today Terry Michaels and I led four other birders on a trip to Mt Evans (Clear Creek County).  Temperatures reached 82 degrees in Evergreen.  Winds were a mild 3-4 mph until afternoon storms with gusts to 22 mph.  It was at least twenty degrees colder on Mt Evans.

One Barrow's Goldeneye was relocated on Echo Lake on our trip to Mt Evans.  We drove to the top and Jake found a White-tailed Ptarmigan east of the upper parking area.

We returned to Summit Lake and walked to the northwest corner.  Within 20 minutes, three Brown-capped Rosy Finches circled overhead.  They landed several times on the rocky hillside at the northwest corner.

Next, we parked at the pullover at the east side of Summit Lake.  I used the cars as a windbreak as the rest of the group wandered east of the road.  My trusty scope found two White-tailed Ptarmigans when they jumped on top of a rock about 200 yards east.

The situation reminded me of the times I met Don Beltz at Crow Valley Campgrounds.  He would sit in a chair under shade while I walked around all day.  Don would see almost the same number of birds as I.

I radioed the news and the wandering birders approached a little closer and received nice looks of their Ptarmigan lifebirds.

On the drive back to Denver, we stopped briefly at Echo Campgrounds.  A male American Three-toed Woodpecker drummed on pines about 20 yards east of the Mt Captain trail.

Our final stop was Genesee Mountain Park (Jefferson).  A male Williamson's Sapsucker drummed on the telephone pole west of the group picnic pavilion.  Three species of nuthatches, two Red Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Townsend's Solitaire were also added to our trip list.

I would have enjoyed chasing some owls (Northern Pygmy & Northern Saw-whet) around Tiny Town; unfortunately we raced back to Denver just ahead of a thunderstorm.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Slow Birding Around Eastern Denver

May 29, 2018

Temperatures remained cool at 63 degrees.  Winds were 10-11 mph with gusts to 15 mph.  Our birding day was one marked by misses.

Rebecca and I stretched our legs with short walks in Arapahoe County.  We could not relocate the Yellow-billed Cuckoo reported by Matt Newport at Cherry Creek Reservoir.  We also missed the Green Heron at Delaney Farms.

A drive along the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Drive found no uncommon birds. Missed Eastern Phoebe, Red-headed Woodpecker, Burrowing Owl and Baltimore Oriole.

Finally, we walked the First Creek Trail (Denver/Adams) from 56th avenue to the western Rocky Mountain Arsenal fence line. Then we detoured north to 68th avenue before returning to the First Creek Trail. If the Vermilion Flycatcher is still around, we did not encounter it.  Also missed any Northern Mockingbirds, American Redstart or other warblers or vireos.

Our hike was quite pleasant in the cool afternoon temperatures.

Into the Mountains, Escaping the Hot Temperatures

May 26, 2018

Rebecca Kosten and I headed up to Gould and Jackson County to escape the heat and thunderstorms.  Our only stop was Rigden Reservoir (Larimer).  We scoped the lake and saw the Ruddy Turnstone quite a ways north of us.

After dark, we stretched our legs with a walk down to the Crags Campgrounds (Jackson).  One of the resident Boreal Owls called without any help by us from south of the Campgrounds.

May 27, 2018

Temperatures were a cool 70 degrees at Gould.  Winds stayed around 6-7 mph.

After a leisure and late start to our birding day, we walked up Jackson County Road 21.  Nothing uncommon was encountered.  Broad-tailed Hummingbirds were the only hummingbirds found.  Usually Calliope Hummingbird and Rufous Hummingbirds do not show up until late June or July.

We drove through the Colorado State Forest and checked on several of the Boreal Owl boxes that I have been monitoring since 1999.  None was found occupied today.

An American Three-toed Woodpecker was up Ruby Jewell Road about 200 yards from Jackson County Road 41. A pair of Red-naped Sapsuckers and Hermit Thrush was around the clearing about 400 yards up the road. 

After complete dark, we walked about a mile up Ruby Jewell Road.  Eventually we heard two Boreal Owls and one Flammulated Owl.

May 28, 2018

Temperatures were great with the high only reaching 63 degrees in Gould.  Winds were 10-11 mph with gusts to 15 mph.  An hour after dark, the winds calmed down.

In the morning, we enjoyed watching the resident birds around the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center.  These included two Fox Sparrows, a MacGillivray's Warbler, Pine Siskins, a Pine Grosbeak, Cassin's Finches, Mountain Chickadees, a Dusky Flycatcher, and Olive-sided Flycatcher.  Highlights were one Brown-capped Rosy Finch (late in season) and two Band-tailed Pigeons. 

The American Three-toed Woodpecker at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center was missed today.  Later, a male American Three-toed Woodpecker was found drumming at Ranger Lakes.

We returned to the Colorado State Forest and Michigan Lake because of Andreas Winnem's report of a Northern Waterthrush.  While we missed the Northern Waterthrush in an hour or two search, a young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was a great consolation prize.  I checked; this was the fourteen Rose-breasted Grosbeak reported along the Michigan River (in the past 15 years)!

On the way back to Denver, we stopped at the Zimmerman Lake Loop Trail (Larimer).  Our target birds were White-winged Crossbills and American Three-toed Woodpeckers.  One out of two was found.  Two American Three-toed Woodpeckers searched for food along the trail intersection.

After dropping out of Cameron Pass area, we detoured to Pennock Pass (Larimer).  Eventually we found two Flammulated Owls at different locations!

Finally Search for Spring 2018 Migration

May 21-25, 2018

Terry Michaels and I headed northeast to Sterling to catch the end of Spring Migration.  Quite a few nice birds were still about.

May 21
Temperature today reached 78 degrees.  Winds were 7-8 mph with gusts to 14 mph.  Nice weather for this time of year, especially since some areas of Colorado experienced severe thunderstorms.

At first light, we found two Long-eared Owls at Jackson Reservoir (Morgan).  A walk along the dam found a male Blackburnian Warbler in the cottonwoods between the southern parking area and the Reservoir community. In the past, Eastern Screech-Owls have nested here; none was found today.

Then we stopped at Prewitt Reservoir (Logan/Washington) for about four hours. Highlights were the Alder Flycatcher found the day before by Steve Larson & Glenn Walbek.  The Golden-winged Warbler, a Baltimore Oriole and two Least Flycatchers were also still around.  Shorebirds were slim pickens with no uncommon birds.

Shortly after sunset, we heard an Eastern Screech-Owl at Pioneer Park in Sterling.

May 22
Temperatures rose to 80 degrees.  Winds were lighter at 4-5 mph with a few gusts to 17 mph in the afternoon.

We started our birding day with a walk along the South Platte River at Overland Park (southeast side of Sterling).  Our target bird was a Black-billed Cuckoo.  They once nested along this corridor.  Today only one Yellow-billed Cuckoo was encountered.  

The riparian area along the Platte was jumping with birds.  Others observed included an American Redstart, male Rose-breasted Grosbeak and male Baltimore Oriole.  Still it was a little disappointing.  However, as we left, Terry spotted a Purple Martin flying back and forth along the Platte east of Hwy 6.

Next stop was back to Pioneer Park to see what the daylight would reveal.  Among just a few birds moving about, a Blackpoll Warbler and Veery stuck out.

Finally, we drove north to Sterling Reservoir.  We checked the northern Campgrounds, dam area, eastern picnic area and the southern riparian area.  Highlights included a Northern Parula (northern Campgrounds), Gray-cheeked Thrush (eastern picnic area) and Barn Owl (southernwoods).  

A Western Bluebird and many Mountain Bluebirds hung around the eastern Campgrounds.  A Hermit Thrush and Spotted Towhee were not well hidden in the southernwoods.

Several Chimney Swifts flew over the eastern side.  A male Baltimore Oriole was at the northern Campgrounds when we returned for another look at the Northern Parula.  We hung around back at the southernwoods at sunset and dusk.  No Eastern Screech-Owls were detected. 

May 23
Temperatures continued to rise with a high of 82 degrees today.  Summer is coming and it felt hot.  Winds were 5-6 mph with afternoon gusts to 23 mph.  We birded around Sterling during the morning, and then drove county roads to the north and east after lunch.

Riverside Cemetery was the hottest spot this morning.  We ran across a Gray-cheeked Thrush, another Northern Parula and another male Baltimore Oriole.  There may have been a female Baltimore Oriole; we did not see it well enough to rule out a female Bullock's Oriole.  Two Mississippi Kites flew overhead while we birded the Cemetery.

Locations north of Sterling where I had found Dickcissels and Greater Prairie-Chickens in the past did not provide sightings today.  Afternoon winds did not aid our birding.  We stopped at two "hotspots" private ranches where American Woodcocks, Purple Martins and uncommon warblers have been recorded in the past four years.  None was found today.

We made it to the edge of Sedgwick County where we had found Sharp-tailed Sparrow (1) on 10/11/2000 and 10/23/2011.  None was encountered today.  I never decided on whether the lone birds were migrants or stayed the summer.

A friend offered us some great barbecue and our birding day was cut short.  His ranch was one of Dan Bridges' best Logan County spots.  I sort of "inherited" it when Dan "retired" from birding.

May 24

Temperatures continued to climb; high was 86 degrees today.  Winds were a mild 5-6 mph.  As usual this time of year, gusts rose to 18 mph in the afternoon.

I hung around Sterling once last day.  We started early in the morning and tried another time to find a Black-billed Cuckoo at Overland Park.  No luck, we did see two Yellow-billed Cuckoo (copulating, rare sighting),  male Baltimore Oriole, 1st year American Redstart, a young Rose-breasted Grosbeak and two Mississippi Kites resting in a cottonwood.  We also obtained glimpses of the lone Purple Martin flying along the Platte River at the east side of Hwy 6.  This may be the northern edge of Overland Park.

Columbine Park in Sterling added a pair of Mississippi Kites, a Cordilleran Flycatcher and another American Redstart to our trip list.  We both heard a Great Crested Flycatcher, however never did see it.

We returned to North Sterling Reservoir because of a report of three Hudsonian Godwits there yesterday (Mark Holmgren).  Unfortunately, we found neither the Hudsonian Godwits nor Willet that Mark reported.  The continuing Gray-cheeked Thrush at the eastern picnic area was the consolation.

Then we headed west along Highway 14 into some inclement weather.

May 25

Temperatures climbed into the low 90s today.  Winds were mild at 3-4 mph with gusts to 9 mph (accounted for the hot temps?)

We started early in the morning with the prospect of a 3+ mile walk to find Baird's Sparrows at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area.  It was at least that long.  Finally, we found two Baird's Sparrow singing along the Pronghorn Loop.  The long hike back to the car as the morning warmed up was less strenuous with the success of our search.

Our plan was to return to Denver by way of Briggsdale and Crow Valley Campgrounds.  By the time we arrived, it was quite warm.  Our best find was the Eastern Phoebe.  Other birds included Bullock's Orioles, Orchard Oriole, Plumbeous Vireo, Spotted Towhees and an Eastern Bluebird.  Later we heard that our misses included a Magnolia Warbler.

Storms rolled in and we did not stay until sunset to look for Short-eared Owls at Lower Latham Reservoir.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Big Day Competition

May 20, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Terry Michaels, Dave King and I had a competition "Big Day" search.  Temperature only reached 58 degrees today under cloudy and rainy skies.  Winds were 14 mph with gusts to 18 mph.

I started out by driving the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver Counties) an hour before sunrise.  A Short-eared Owl flew along Third Creek, east of West Cargo Road.

Next, I hiked the First Creek Trail from 56th Avenue to the Adams County trailhead.  The Vermilion Flycatcher was hawking bugs in the field north of the Adams County Pond.  A Northern Mockingbird flew around the same field west of the Buckley Road & 64th Avenue trailhead.  Both we observed quite a distance away, saving my feet from hiking to the Pond.

Misses: the Harris's Sparrow appears to no longer to be around.  Western Kingbirds were the only Kingbirds.  No Red-eyed Vireo here today.  Both the Red-tailed Hawk and Swainson's Hawk were on their nests.

I returned to Barr Lake (Adams) by way of the DIA Owl Loop and saw two Burrowing Owls.

A walk from the Barr Lake boat ramp (mile 7.5) to mile 8.0 relocated yesterday's Gray-cheeked Thrush (about 10 yards off the trail).  A Barn Owl, Long-eared Owl and Great-tailed Grackle were eventually relocated.

My next stop was having a staked out Mountain Plover on a friend's ranch (Weld).  Several Long-eared Owls, a Cassin's Vireo, Bullock's Orioles, White-crowned Sparrows, a Dark-eyed Junco were also found. Spotted Towhee and Green-tailed Towhee searched for food in his surrounding windbreak.

Then I hiked the southern ponds at Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld).  Another Spotted Towhee, Chipping Sparrows, Song Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow, and Barn Owl were along the eastern side of the ponds.

The western side was more interesting.  A Nashville Warbler and Tennessee Warbler fluttered about that windbreak.

Ireland Reservoir #5 added several Wilson's Phalaropes and a Red-necked Phalarope to my day list.  Other birds included Canada Geese, American Coots, Pied-billed Grebes, Double-crested Cormorant, Mallards, Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, a Cinnamon Teal pair, American Pipit and Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

At Ireland Reservoir #1, American Robins, an American White Pelican and a MacGillivray's Warbler were found.

I did not return until late and will find out our totals tomorrow.  My total was 103 species.

List: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Ring-necked Pheasant, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, American Kestrel, Virginia Rail, American Coot, Killdeer, American Avocet, Spotted Sandpiper, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove, Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl, Burrowing Owl, Long-eared Owl, Common Nighthawk, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Western Kingbird, Eastern Kingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Common Raven, Horned Lark, Tree Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Rock Wren, House Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Mountain Bluebird, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, American Pipit, Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, Western Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, McCown's Longspur, Blue Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, Common Grackle, Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Bullock's Oriole, House Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

Barr Lake and First Creek Trail

May 19, 2018

Richard Stevens:

High temperature was 51 degree under cloudy skies.  It rained off and on most of the afternoon.  Winds were 9-10 mph; however, several gusts reached 21 mph.

Went to bed around 7:00am and back out birding at 1:00pm.  Temperatures only reached 52 degrees today.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 14 mph.  It rained off and on all afternoon.

I walked from the Barr Lake Visitor's Center footbridge (mile 0.0/9.0) to the boat ramp (7.5), returned and continued to mile 0.5.

Kingbirds, Eastern outnumbered Western, Bullock's Orioles, House Wrens, Yellow Warblers, hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds and more Cliff Swallows that I have ever seen in one place were scattered along the trail.

The pair of Osprey was on their nesting platform.  A Warbling Vireo was west of the banding station while a Red-eyed Vireo was just east.  A Gray-cheeked Thrush at mile 8.0 was the highlight.

A Barn Owl was in the box near the boat ramp.  A Long-eared Owl and Great-tailed Grackle were in the entrance windbreak.

I picked up Rebecca and we headed to the First Creek Trail.  We enter the trail from 56th avenue and not Buckley Road (more on that later).

Eventually we found five kingbirds in Denver County (east of Buckley) and eleven (west of Buckley).  We did not find one that we could call a Cassin's Kingbird.  Red-tailed Hawk nests were in both counties; a Swainson's Hawk nest is in Adams County.

A Red-eyed Vireo was just east of the Light rail bridge.  A rufous colored thrush briefly came out of the willows about 30 yards east of the Denver County trailhead.  Unfortunately, it was not relocated.

We stood around the trailheads for 15 minutes or so to see if the Harris's Sparrow was still around.  It was not found.  I would hear after getting home that a Northern Mockingbird and Vermilion Flycatcher were somewhere north of there.

We continued to the Adams County Pond along the First Creek Trail.  A male Blue Grosbeak was perched on a rabbit brush about 20 yards east of the pond.

And here is where it got weird.  I heard back at home that the male Vermilion Flycatcher and a Northern Mockingbird were seen around the trees at Buckley Road and the 64th avenue area.

Rebecca and I watched the (a) male Vermilion Flycatcher hawking bugs from the chain link fence about 25 yards south of the Pond.  It was watched from 4:50pm to 5:00pm.  I remember the time because we had to pick up a friend at DIA at 6:00pm.  We scheduled out time to meet the deadline.

So...did the Vermilion Flycatcher fly from Buckley & 64th and back to the pond?  Less likely odds, are there two Vermilion Flycatchers?

I also heard about a second Northern Mockingbird along Buckley, south of the First Creek Trailhead.  We never passed that spot and missed that Northern Mockingbird.

Back at home, reading the Vermilion Flycatcher and Northern Mockingbird at 64th avenue in the morning, I decided to return.  This time I parked at Buckley and hiked to 64th avenue, then took the trail west to the Adams County Pond.

It was raining quite hard when I arrived at Buckley & 64th avenue.  No Vermilion Flycatcher or Northern Mockingbird was found.  

The trip would not be useless.  Two Lark Sparrows and a Clay-colored Sparrow walked along the dirt track.  Half a dozen Western Kingbirds hawked bugs.

A Cassin's Vireo was in the cottonwoods about 20 yards east of the closed green gate by the pond.  No Vermilion Flycatcher was found this time at the pond.

Continuing back east, a male Black-headed Grosbeak and Black-crowned Night-Heron were 50 yards south of the pond. 

A flock of birds was in the Russian Olive trees where the east-west trail has a huge bend to the north.  This loose flock had a pair of Black-capped Chickadees, a Cassin's Vireo and Plumbeous Vireo.  A Broad-winged Hawk was also in the same area.

A second male Black-headed Grosbeak was on the fence 50 yards north of the Buckley Road parking area.

Where the Vermilion Flycatcher is/was, I did not discover.

Searching for Migranting Birds on Colorado's Eastern Plains

May 14-18, 2018

Richard Stevens:

My last grouse trip of the spring, 2018 was canceled.  Two birders missed their flight and could not get out of Israel.  Terry Michaels and I decided to look for spring migrants on Colorado's eastern plains.  It turned out to be quite fantastic five days. 
May 14

Temperatures reached 73 degrees in Holyoke.  Winds were 7 mph with gusts to 25 mph (when it was raining).

A stop at Last Chance Rest Stop (Washington) started our day with a Northern Waterthrush, male Hooded Warbler and Blackpoll Warbler.

A Red-headed Woodpecker and Blackpoll Warbler flew around Haxtun City Park (Phillips).

Holyoke Cemetery is one of my favorite locations to bird in Phillips County.  Today we found a Palm Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler and Field Sparrow.  Not bad for an hour walk in 9+ mph winds.

Holyoke Fishing Pond was just as interesting.  We got our first Bell's Vireo in Phillips County.  Additional birds included a Mourning Warbler (always a great find in Colorado), Blue-headed Vireo, Cassin's Kingbird and three Western Kingbirds.

A Broad-winged Hawk, Tennessee Warbler, Summer Tanager and Baltimore Oriole moved about Holyoke City Park.  While getting gas, Terry saw a Blackpoll Warbler across the street.

Our birding day ended with a drive along Yuma County Road 45.  Two Greater Prairie-Chickens jumped around on the CR 45 lek.  A Short-eared Owl flew at the northwest corner of Yuma County Road 45 & CR P.

May 15

High temperature was 75 degrees.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 25 mph (when it was raining).

Terry and I spent the day at Bonny Reservoir.  We enjoyed another great birding day.

We eventually encountered in Bonny Reservoir:
  Eastern Screech-Owl --Republican River at CR 3 
  Great Crested Flycatcher --CR 3 
  Cassin's Vireo --east/Foster's Grove 
  American Redstart --east/Forster's Grove 
  Long-eared Owl --east/Foster's Grove & southern wagon wheel 
  Barn Owl --south/Forster's Grove 
  Bell's Vireo --CR 2 
  Alder Flycatcher (Hooper Ponds to Southern Wagon Wheel Road)
  Baltimore Oriole --southern wagon wheel road
  Blue-headed Vireo --wagon wheel road 
  Red-bellied Woodpecker (2) --southern wagon wheel road 
  Eastern Phoebe --wagon wheel Campgrounds 

In the Hale Ponds area:
  Common Poorwill --Hale Ponds 
  Eastern Screech-Owl --Hale Ponds
  Red-bellied Woodpecker (4) --Hale Ponds 
  Northern Waterthrush --Hale Ponds 
  Northern Waterthrush --Hale Ponds 
  Eastern Bluebird --Hale 
  Eastern Bluebird --Hale 

May 16, 2018

It was definitely hot today with a high temperature of 80 degrees.  Summer is coming. Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 14 mph.  A day without rain, super!  One of the top three birding days in my "career"!

We continued at Bonny Reservoir and Hale and found:

  Eastern Screech-Owl --Republican River at CR 3 
  Broad-winged Hawk --Hale Ponds 
  Eastern Screech-Owl --Hale Ponds 
  Red-bellied Woodpecker (2) --southern wagon wheel road 
  Bell's Vireo --CR 2 
  Alder Flycatcher (Hooper Ponds to Southern Wagon Wheel Road)

A stop at a friend's ranch added a male Prairie Warbler, Nashville Warbler and Rose-breasted Grosbeak to our day list.

A text message about a possible Golden-crowned Warbler in Cheyenne County sent us south.

Fortunately, several birders were looking at the Golden-crowned Warbler when we arrived.  In ten minutes, we observed the first State GCWA.  We did not hang around for the other fantastic birds at the Cheyenne County Road 9 hotspot. 

Our birding day ended at Flagler Reservoir (Kit Carson County).  We found a Summer Tanager, Olive-sided Flycatcher and Northern Waterthrush all along the eastern side of the reservoir.  No Short-eared Owls showed up at dusk.

May 17

It felt hot with a high temperature of 87 degrees.  Winds were 19-20 mph with gusts to 32 mph.  It rained just a little bit in the afternoon.

We again spent the night at Hale Ponds.  The Common Poorwill called about an hour before sunrise.  At sunrise, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo called north of the most eastern Pond.  We relocated four Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

The Eastern Phoebe was still at the wagon wheel Campgrounds.

On the drive north, a stop at Beecher Island (Yuma County) found another Eastern Phoebe and Summer Tanager.

In the Wray area, our third Eastern Phoebe of the day was at Wray Fishing Unit.  Two Baltimore Orioles were in the cottonwoods near the ranger's office.  A male Northern Cardinal flew around the windbreak along the entrance road.  The Wray Fishing Unit closes at 4:30 pm, go early if you want to bird it.

At nearby Stalker Pond we encountered another Baltimore Oriole and Northern Cardinal.  Nothing uncommon was around the lake.  It took us quite awhile to identify the only tern flying around the lake as a Forster's Tern.

No uncommon sparrows lurked around Sandsage Wildlife Area.  The resident Eastern Screech-Owl did not call this evening.

May 18

Temperatures reached a comfortable 69 degrees today.  Winds were 14-15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. It rained quite a bit in the afternoon. 

Terry and I hiked most of the Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan County) today. Uncommon birds continued to pop up!  My sore foot took a beating today.  On Saturday, I could barely walk, and yet I eventually did.

First, we drove Hwy 55 (Logan) to look for Greater Prairie-Chickens; without success.

Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (western sections)
  Yellow-billed Cuckoo 
  Eastern Screech-Owl 
  Red-bellied Woodpecker 
  Bell's Vireo 
  Possible Eastern Towhee 

(eastern sections)
  Yellow-billed Cuckoo 
  Eastern Screech-Owl (2) 
  Red-bellied Woodpecker (3)
  Eastern Phoebe 
  Blue-headed Vireo 
  Swainson's Thrush 
  Hermit Thrush (2)
  Nashville Warbler 
  Black-throated Green Warbler 
  Magnolia Warbler 
  Mourning Warbler 
  Field Sparrow 
  Northern Cardinal 
  Baltimore Oriole 
  Eastern Bluebird (4)
  (all above: eastern sections)

On the way back to Denver, we stopped at Duck Creek Wildlife Area (Logan) about an hour before sunset.  A Cassin's Vireo and Red-bellied Woodpecker were off the northern parking area.  On the drive back to Hwy 160, Terry pointed out an Upland Sandpiper walking the field to the east.

After dark, we stopped at Jackson Reservoir (Morgan County) to try out our NVG7-3P Night Vision goggles.  Eventually we spotted two Long-eared Owls.  An Eastern Screech-Owl called also.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Good Bird at First Creek Trail & Belmar Historic Park

May 13, 2018

Temperatures only reached 60 degrees under cloudy skies today.  Winds were 6 mph with gusts to 16 mph.  6 mph was low, it was windy all day.

Terry Michaels and I conducted a spring count at Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld) this morning.  The few birds in order encountered were a dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers, a pair of Spotted Towhees, one Gray Catbird, over two dozen Robins, two Red-tailed Hawks, two American Kestrels, a Great Horned Owl and a Barn Owl.  Note: the Wildlife Area north of Hwy 52 in closed until July 15.  Hence the bird count was south of the Hwy.

After we split up, I decided to do my annual one-man spring count along the First Creek Trail.  I have been bushwhacking First Creek east of Buckley Road (Denver County) since 1992.  The Adams County section only opened up a couple of years ago.

In order encountered, starting from 56th avenue at the horse corrals (Denver County): Yellow-rumped Warblers, one Red-eyed Vireo, a pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Robins, Red-tailed Hawk (on nest), House Wren, Brewer's Sparrows, one Clay-colored Sparrow, two Chipping Sparrows, one male Bullock's Oriole, one Western Kingbird, and one Northern Waterthrush.

The Northern Waterthrush was approximately 40 yards east of Buckley Road.  The Red-eyed Vireo was just east of Pena Blvd.

In Adams County: White-crowned Sparrows (missed, Harris's Sparrow, either county), Northern Waterthrush (20 yards upstream of the narrow eight foot cement structure), 38 Chipping Sparrows, Green-tailed Towhee, Marsh Wren, four House Wrens, Great Horned Owl (dove toward me out of cottonwood when I pshing at Marsh Wren), another Northern Waterthrush (under willows that hang over First Creek when gravel trail turns from west to north), three Lincoln's Sparrows, and more White-crowned Sparrows.

Highlight of the hike was a male Vermilion Flycatcher.  A text had said that a Vermilion Flycatcher was found on Rocky Mountain Arsenal.  Not knowing where, I had hoped it might show up along the eastern border.  Later I read that I had relocated at this morning's location, the southeast corner of the little pond just outside the eastern fence line.

Also around the pond: a pair of Spotted Towhees, a pair of Eastern Kingbirds, one Western Kingbird, two House Wrens, nine Yellow-rumped Warblers (mostly Audubon), two House Finches and a Hermit Thrush.

On the walk back to my vehicle: Western Wood-pewee (one each, Adams & Denver Counties), another Hermit Thrush (Adams), and a strange calling bird that I recorded and will have to look at spectrograms.  It sounded like a Great Crested Flycatcher, which I doubt, would be in this area.  However, Barr Lake has at least six records, Cherry Creek Reservoir at least one record and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal one record.bgt5%mju7&

Back at my car, I received a phone call about a Chestnut-sided Warbler at Belmar Historic Park.  Two hours before sunset, I headed that way.  The Chestnut-sided Warbler was above the pussy willows at the horse bridge.  I took photos at 7:30 pm, my camera did focus on the bird, however hand held shutter speed was 1/13 second.  I do not expect more than witness photos.

My Vermilion Flycatcher photos should be much better and will be posted on the Colorado Birding Society's photo library "most recent favorite photos" later tonight.

We ate dinner with Bill Cryder.  A Common Poorwill called from his lilac bushes for the second night in a row (Centennial yard, Arapahoe County).

Willow Creek Open Space & Rocky Mountain Arsenal

May 12, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached 78 degrees in the afternoon.  Winds were high again at 10-11 mph with gusts to 24 mph.

I drove to Willow Spring Open Space (Jefferson) to search for the Northern Mockingbird & Northern Waterthrush reported earlier in the morning by Jared Del Rosso.

Saturday is not the best day to search for birds here.  The Park gets many visitors and especially dog walkers.

I did not find the Northern Mockingbird during a walk around this rather large open space.  A Northern Mockingbird has been reported here for the past four years.  I found one last year and had searched the last four.  They seem difficult to find in the willows and cattails.  Today's bird was probably still there.

The Northern Waterthrush was relocated along Willow Creek, below the dam (north side).  It walked along the shore where the creek curves from north to west.  It took 25 minutes to relocate it after the Northern Waterthrush walked under some dead willows hanging over the Creek.

A Grosbeak called from the opposite side of the creek. It appeared to come from the wild plum bushes.  Unfortunately, I never saw it.  Audio was captured, perhaps I can identify the bird some spectrograms.

A Cassin's Vireo was fluttering about the Cottonwood Tree below the tagged Shed west of the Northern Waterthrush location.

In the afternoon, Rebecca and I drove to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  I walked to the Rod & Gun Club bird blind.  A Gray-cheeked Thrush stood on the pile of dead limbs near the Blind. Later it flew to the Cottonwoods south of the Blind.

Cattails are high and only a little portion of the pond can be seen.  No shore for shorebirds was visible.

We found few birds along the Wildlife drive.  No Burrowing Owl was out; winds were 24+ mph.  

Douglas County, east to Elbert & Arapahoe Counties

May 11, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures remained warm; it was 87 degrees in Parker. Winds were also strong at 9-10 mph with gusts to 25 mph. 

Perhaps they were the reason I found few birds in spite of covering quite a bit of mileage.

An hour before sunrise I heard a Northern Saw-whet Owl near the falls area of Castlewood Canyon State Park (Douglas).

A drive along Castlewood Canyon Road south of the Park found several Mountain Bluebirds, no Western or Eastern.  Two Wild Turkeys were on the hill west of the Winkler Ranch driveway.  No Bobolinks were found at the traditional nesting spot just south of the Ranch entrance.

Back in Castlewood Canyon State Park, I walked the Creekside trail.  An Ovenbird popped up from willows on the east side of Cherry Creek.  

A stop at Highway 86 and the Cherry Creek bridge found two Eastern Phoebes hawking bugs (would prefer to call them insects, however was told that not all bugs are insects).

I continued east to Kiowa's (Elbert) and stopped at the Dickcissel field (along Elbert Road at 4.2 miles south of Kiowa).  No Dickcissels were seen.  Either they have not arrived yet or they did not want to be exposed to the 25+ mph winds.

Locations checked, not in any particular order as I wandered back and forth, (no warblers or vireos found at any of them):

Cottonwoods at Kiowa Creek and County Line Road: no Red-headed Woodpeckers yet
Arapahoe County Open Space: no birds

Hill cut along Arapahoe CR 42, 1.7 miles east of CR 161: Loggerhead Shrike pair, no Northern Mockingbirds

Cassin's Kingbird tree along CR 161, south of Arapahoe CR 30: no kingbirds yet

Arapahoe CR 30, 0.7 miles east of CR 149: three Burrowing Owls

Arapahoe CR 129, 0.7 miles south of Orchard Road: three Burrowing Owls

High winds, few birds

Cherry Creek Reservoir in the Afternoon

May 10, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached 88 degrees today.  Winds were 7-8 mph with gusts to 17 mph.  The high winds surely kept the birds hidden.

I drove through Cherry Creek State Park (Arapahoe) in the afternoon.  Two Bonaparte's Gulls flew off the Lake Loop.  The male Great-tailed Grackle was again at the Cottonwood Creek wetlands.  I did not see the female today; however, there is one around there.

I walked around the Wild Plum bushes at the south marina upper parking area and found a male Yellow Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler and two White-crowned Sparrows.  A Northern Parula spent a couple of weeks here in 2017.

Noticing a larger group of Wild Plum on the east side of Lake View Drive (main road), I walked over to see if a Northern Parula or any uncommon bird was around.  While no Parula was found, a Tennessee Warbler flew back and forth between the Plum bushes and Cottonwoods.

A male Broad-tailed Hummingbird was performing his mating flight at the ranger's office area.  No Black-chinned Hummingbirds have shown up yet this year.  Perhaps the male that has been coming for the past eight years has given up finding a mate or has passed away?

No Short-eared Owls or Long-eared Owls appeared this evening along the Gun Range entrance road.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Western Side of Denver

May 7, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached a pleasant 79 degrees today.  Winds were 9 mph with gusts to 22 mph.  I birded in congested areas of Jefferson County and seldom was exposed to the winds.

Doug Ward had reported a possible Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and a second "empidonax" flycatcher near Huston Park (Denver).  After returning from a successful Flammulated Owl search in Larimer County last night (Pennock Pass area), I decided to give it a shot.

No flycatchers were encountered in two hours walking around the four blocks where the possible Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was observed.  I circled Huston Park just to the north.  The park has potential with a large cattail lined lake.  A Cassin's Vireo at the northeast corner of the lake was the best bird found.

I continued south and stopped at Belmar Historic Park (Jefferson).  Many birders had searched unsuccessfully for the Baltimore Oriole reported on 5/6. My approach was to walk the outside perimeter and scope down each of the side road.  That approached worked no better than the other birders'.

My birding day ended at Harriman Lake Park (Jefferson).  From previous visits, I calculated that the Northern Waterthrush reported yesterday had to be up the side canal located about 2/3 the way down from the parking area.  Later it was learned to be a good guess.

On the way to the canal, I passed a male Great-tailed Grackle, which was constantly calling.  He would chase the male Red-winged Blackbirds found what I would guess were prime nesting spots.

Few birds moved along the canal.  The southern end of the canal leads into private yards.  A small pond is just east of the canal.  The pond has a piece of plywood "floating" at its north end.  While scoping the pond with my binoculars I noticed movement behind me.  It took another twenty minutes to get several partial views of the bird walking under the gooseberry bushes.  It was the Northern Waterthrush.  Other birds flying into the bushes included a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches, two Black-capped Chickadees, three Robins and a Yellow Warbler.  I was standing in the path with a half-buried yellow golf ball in its center.

On the return trip to my car, a second male Great-tailed Grackle was observed having a verbal battle with the first one (see Colorado Birding Society's website, "recent favorite bird photos" link.  Then the cause of the verbal scuffle was revealed.  A female Great-tailed Grackle popped out of the cattails.

Birding Northern Colorado

May 6, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Terry Michaels and I headed north.  One goal was to search for Baird's Sparrows at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area (Weld).  Temperatures reached 77 degrees today.  Winds were 4-5 mph; several gusts reached 15 mph on the Pawnee National Grasslands.  Unfortunately, we did not see or hear any Baird's Sparrows.

Our route across the Pawnee National Grasslands (Weld) was across the northern edge to the eastern edge, then dropped down to the southern edge and back west.

Two Sharp-tailed Grouse were observed in the field along Weld CR 111, north of CR 134.  It was a surprise to see them in late morning.  We do wonder if any birders have seen them on a lek?

A Mountain Plover was found along Weld CR 100, west of CR 390 and east of CR 99.  Two male Chestnut-collared Longspurs were along CR 100 at little west of the Mountain Plover.

We arrived at Crow Valley Campgrounds in late afternoon.  Nothing uncommon lurked in the area.  Deb Carstensen's Palm Warbler (5/4) was not relocated.

Then we discovered the "bird of the day".  A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was on the fence along the south side of Highway 14 (northwest of Briggsdale).  Perhaps it was the same bird found by Pratyaydipta Rudra on 5/4 along Weld County Road 120 (approximately 15 miles north).  We had not considered that it would still be around.

It was such a fantastic day; we did not want it to end.  So, what the heck, Terry and I decided to head up into the mountains and search for Flammulated Owls.  Eventually we made five stops along Larimer CR 44h, finding one Flammulated Owl near Jacob Washburn and Jamie Thompson's site (5/5).

Missed Sightings Around Denver

May 5, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures were a warm 80 degrees today.  Winds were 6-7 mph with gusts to 22 mph.  One gust reached 30 mph.

Saturday was a day of missed sightings.

Jefferson County
Did not see Northern Parula at Belmar Historic Park or Welchester Tree Park 

Adams County
Did not see Hooded Warbler at Sage Creek Park.  A pair of Say's Phoebes hawked bugs along the northern shore.

Saw Cassin's Vireo northeast corner of Adams County Fairgrounds eastern trail.  It was in cottonwoods just northeast of the golf course.

Harris's Sparrow with four White-crowned Sparrows were around the southeast side of chain link fence at the First Creek Trailhead (Denver County).  
Did not see the Rose-breasted Grosbeak but only stayed approximately four minutes.
Rock Wrens were seen at Rose-breasted Grosbeak site and south of horse corrals off 56th avenue.
Two Western Kingbirds perched on Light Rail wires over First Creek Trail.

A Great Text Message, First Creek Trail

May 4, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Finished a grouse trip in early afternoon, 2416 miles in seven days, not a record that is 2673 miles.  

Received an email about a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak along the First Creek Trail near DIA and went over.  

Adam Vesely was leaving and pointed out the location. 

Also observed: Rock Wren, (Denver/Adams), Western Kingbird (Denver), Harris's Sparrow (Adams) 

Photos of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak on the CoBus photo library "recent favorite photos" link

A Penultimate Grouse Trip

April 29 to May 4, 2018

Richard Stevens:

April 29

James & David Lewis and I headed out on another grouse trip.  Bird migration started and we observed a few bonus birds.  Weather cooperated nicely.  We experienced splendid weather relative to the elevation.

Our first stop was Loveland Pass. Two White-tailed Ptarmigan were eventually found about 0.4 miles up the western side of the Summit.  A flat area south of the "trail" appears to be a favorite morning resting spot (Summit County)!

Approximately forty Rosy Finches (no Black) were found at a friend's yard in Silverthorne.  Other birds observed included a male Evening Grosbeak, a pair of Pine Grosbeaks, White-breasted Nuthatches, Pygmy Nuthatches, Clark's Nutcracker, Gray Jay, fos Band-tailed Pigeon, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker and Pine Siskin.

No Barrow's Goldeneyes were on the Blue River Water Treatment Plant (Summit).  

We chose the eastern route into Jackson County and found twenty+ Barrow's Goldeneyes along with Common Goldeneyes at Windy Gap Reservoir (Grand).

A Rough-legged Hawk was perched on a telephone pole in the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (Jackson).  We had time to spare and detoured east to Walden Reservoir (Jackson).  Several Willets walked the northeast shore.  A Bonaparte's Gull flew over the lake.  Winds were a good 23-24 mph with gusts to 31 mph.

Shortly after sunset, thirty one Greater Sage-Grouse (7 females, 25 males) walked onto the Jackson CR 26b lek.

Several stops were made on Rabbit Ears Pass (Grand/Routt).  No owls called this night.

April 30

We enjoyed a successful and magnificent day of birding North Park and the Western Slope.

The 80 Route was open to our SUV and we eventually would find in order of appearance: one Dusky Grouse and the second cattle guard, seven Greater Sage-Grouse dancing on their lek and nine Sharp-tailed Grouse running around at their lek (see Colorado Birding Society's website for locations) 

Afterwards we rushed over to the Twenty Road Leks and found another five Sharp-tailed Grouse running around.  The Yampa River had no ducks on it as we drove south out of Craig (Moffat).  Two Western Grebes were on Perch Pond (Moffat).  One Great-tailed Grackle squawked at the Rifle Rest Stop (Garfield).

Coal Canyon (Mesa) was our best spot during the daylight.  A Chukar called from the hill southwest of the second pipe gate parking area.  Other birds observed included two singing Black-throated Sparrows, a Gray Flycatcher, two Pinyon Jays and a Sagebrush Sparrow (observed briefly running around the thick brush below the Chukar.

We continued to the Grand Mesa (Mesa) and walked around the Powderhorn Ski Area.  A quick stop found the Northern Saw-whet Owl at a location we had discovered on a previous trip.  An American Three-toed Woodpecker drummed in the woods south of the maintenance shed.

Then we continued driving south and stopped at pullovers along Hwy 65.  A Boreal Owl was heard, however never seen, at the second pullover south of the Spruce Grove Campgrounds.  A stop back at Powderhorn Ski area on the return trip found a Northern Pygmy-Owl along the loop just inside the entrance.

May 1

We drove the length of the Colorado National Monument (Mesa) from the eastern (southern) to western (northern) end.  Gambel's Quail were numerous in the subdivision just outside the entrance.

A walk into Devil's Kitchen found another Gray Flycatcher, a Gray Vireo two Pinyon Jays and a Black-throated Gray Warbler.  No Black-chinned Sparrows have been reported in the past two years.  The Picnic area across the road added an Ash-throated Flycatcher, Canyon Wren, Rock Wren and Black-chinned Hummingbird to our trip list.

My birding companions were not satisfied with their look at a Sagebrush Sparrow yesterday, so we drove up Brewster's Ridge.  Two Sagebrush Sparrows responded to recordings at approximately 4 miles north of S Road (Garfield).  I counted Sagebrush Sparrows for both Mesa & Garfield Counties this trip.

No Scott's Orioles were encountered (or expected this early) at their traditional locations.

We detoured to James Robb Colorado River State Park (Mesa) and found one of the two Caspian Terns reported early by a birder who had stopped and suggested several locations to bird.  A sighting of the previous reported Little Blue Heron was a much better bird! The Red-necked Phalarope was still at Highline Lake State Park (Mesa).

A detour up Escalante Canyon to Pinnacle Rock (Delta) found a Black Phoebe catching insects above Escalante Creek (about 50 yards east of the Rock).

A check of Fruitgrower's Reservoir (Delta) did not find any uncommon shorebirds.  A Lewis's Woodpecker at the Eckert Post Office was the reward for making the detour.

Our birding day ended at the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (Montrose).  A male Dusky Grouse was observed displaying long the South Rim Drive long before we reached the Visitor's Center.  Resident Northern Pygmy-Owls were silent tonight.

May 2
We only saw two Gunnison Sage-Grouse at the Waunita Hot Springs area this morning.  Better than none, they were quite far from CR 887.  A Sage Thrasher was seen on the drive back to Highway 50.

American Three-toed Woodpeckers (two males) were easy to locate at the Monarch Pass summit pullover (Chaffee).

One Rufous-crowned Sparrow jumped out of the cubbyholes along Tunnel Drive, Canon City (Fremont).

A detour along Swallows Road (Pueblo) just west of Pueblo added two Scaled Quail and a Curve-billed Thrasher to our trip list.

We hurried east to get to the John Martin Reservoir area (Bent) with several hours of daylight remaining.  No Black Rails could be found.  A Piping Plover at the northeast corner of John Martin Reservoir was a considered consolation.

May 3

Temperature reached 71 degrees in Springfield.  Winds were 15-16 mph with gusts to 36 mph (Two Buttes Reservoir) in the afternoon.  Fortunately, Cottonwood Canyon was cooler and less windy. Our hike there was quite pleasant.

A Western Screech-Owl was relocated at Cottonwood Canyon (Baca) shortly after midnight.  Then we parking with permission on private land and waited for sunrise.  Just before sunrise, two Lesser Prairie-Chickens walked the lek located on private property.

Later we returned to Cottonwood Canyon (Baca) and found two Eastern Phoebes, a Gray Flycatcher, Black-and-white Warbler, Nashville Warbler, three Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Canyon Towhees, Bewick's Wrens, Wild Turkey, Chihuahuan Ravens, Cooper's Hawk and best bird of Cottonwood Canyon, a Gray Flycatcher!  However, the Gray Flycatcher was not to be the "best bird of the day" (see later).

We stopped at a friend's ranch (Las Animas) for a quick "Hi".  He told us about an owl that was calling all night and kept his wife awake.  It turned out to be a Northern Saw-whet Owl (second of trip and second county).  Better yet, James saw the flash of a reddish bird.  We followed the bird through Ponderosa Pine grove and finally put our binoculars on it.  A male Hepatic Tanager was our first of 2018!

On the drive to Lamar (Prowers) a mile detour along Baca CR M, west of Hwy 287/385 found a Long-billed Curlew and two Burrowing Owls.  We checked Pasture G (across from the old Washington Work Center) for Mountain Plover.  Once a traditional nesting location, none has been found for a couple of years now.

Two Buttes Reservoir (Baca) added a Palm Warbler, Ladder-backed Woodpecker and additional Wild Turkey to our trip list.

Then the bird of the day was run across.  A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher hawked insects along Hwy 287/385.  It was 11.2 miles south of Savage Road, Lamar.  

Motel reservations in Wray had to wait for a detour at Bonny Reservoir (Yuma).  An Eastern Screech-Owl was relocated at Hale Ponds.

May 4

Temperatures reached 72 degrees on the Grasslands today.  Winds were only 2-3 mph with a few gusts to only 8 mph.

My birding friends arranged to be shown Greater Prairie-Chickens on a private ranch.  In the meantime, I drove up to the Yuma CR 45 lek where five Greater Prairie-Chickens were dancing and hopping around.  This lek is reliable for Greater Prairie-Chickens, however, quite far from the road.

After reuniting, we stopped at the Wray Fishing Unit (Yuma) and relocated an Eastern Phoebe and Northern Cardinal.  The resident Barn Owls and perhaps returning Bullock's or Baltimore Orioles were not found.

Continuing west, a quick stop at Jackson Reservoir (Morgan) and we had our Long-eared Owl for the trip.  Yellow-throated Warblers were the only representatives of their family to appear.  A Prairie Falcon soared by along the western lake edge.

Our trip continued north to the Pawnee National Grasslands area (Weld).  One Mountain Plover was observed along CR 100, west of CR 390.  Chestnut-collared Longspurs were seen a little west of there.  McCown's Longspurs were observed along Weld CR 96, east of CR 69.

Our tired group then returned to Denver.