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).

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