Sunday, June 17, 2018

Strange Detour for Some Weld County Uncommon Rails

June 5, 2018

Temperatures later in the day at Briggsdale were a whopping 98 degrees.  Hot winds were 5-6 mph with gusts around 14-15 mph.  Two gusts reached 44 mph and almost knocked us off our feet.

It was one of my strangest birding days.  We heard about the Black Rail and King Rail at Lower Latham Reservoir (Weld) and drove 300+ miles arriving at Lower Latham Reservoir a little after 2:00 am.  

Well worth the drive, we heard and recorded both rails.  I hope to put spectrograms of both in next month's "Colorado Field Notes".
The King Rail was found/heard by several birders after sunrise.  Some thought there were two King Rails and two Black Rails.  Two Black Rails were later confirmed.

We caught a few hours of sleep at Crow Valley Campground (Weld) then drove to a Mountain Plover nesting site.  An adult and young Mountain Plover were found at a traditional nesting site on the Pawnee National Grasslands.

An Upland Sandpiper was along Weld County Road 96, east of CR 57.  Other birds found on the Grasslands included McCown's Longspurs, Chestnut-collared Longspurs, Brewer's Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows and Cassin's Sparrows.

In the afternoon, we headed east and arrived at Jumbo Reservoir (Logan/Sedgwick) with a couple of hours of daylight.  Our target bird, Least Bittern was not found.  Jumbo Reservoir was slow and we backtracked to Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan).  Two Eastern Screech-Owls responded to recordings played at Area 6-7 East.

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