Sunday, June 17, 2018

Search for Mexican Whip-Poor-wills in Archuleta County

June 8-10, 2018

Richard Stevens:

June 8

Temperatures were a welcomed 82 degrees in Pagosa Springs. Winds were down to 2-3 mph with a few gusts to 10 mph.

Early in the morning Terry heard a singing male Hooded Warbler at Lower Piedra Campgrounds (Archuleta).  We searched for uncommon birds at several locations without much success.  Stops included Stillenberger Reservoir, East Fork Road, Turkey Creek Road, Fawn Gulch and Mill Creek.

About an hour before sunset, we drove Fosset Gulch Road (Archuleta).  It is the first location for Mexican Whip-Poor-will in Colorado.  None was found this evening.

June 9

Temperatures reached 82 degrees in Pagosa Springs.  Winds were only 2-3 mph with gusts to 10 mph.

Terry Michaels and I woke up early to listen for Mexican Whip-Poor-wills along Fosset Gulch (Archuleta).  Again, we were disappointed with no sightings.  Five Grace's Warblers encountered were not a good substitute.

In the afternoon, we decided to bird Navajo Reservoir.  One Black Phoebe was relocated at the Overlook.  Other birds encountered included Cassin's Kingbirds, Northern Mockingbird, Sage Thrasher, White-throated Swift, two Pinyon Jays, a Prairie Falcon, and Brown Thrasher.  The highlight was a Purple Martin along Archuleta County Road 382!

We returned to Fosset Gulch Road (CR 193) and again came up empty for Whip-poor Wills.  No owls could be enticed to call either.

June 10, 2018

Terry and I enjoyed better success this morning.  We moved over to Garcia Canyon (Archuleta CR 152) this morning.  About two hours before sunrise, we captured the calling of a Mexican Whip-Poor-will!  About 1/2 mile farther down the Canyon, we heard a second bird.  We did not believe the first Whip-Poor-Will moved that far down the road. I hope to put spectrograms of the Mexican Whip-Poor-will in July's "Colorado Field Notes".

We chose to return to Denver by way of Slumgullion Pass.  A male White-winged Crossbill circled overlook just south of the Campgrounds.  After dark, two Boreal Owls responded to our recordings.

Then the long drive home after a long successful trip..................

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