Monday, May 14, 2018

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

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