Wednesday, May 9, 2018

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).

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