Saturday, July 28, 2018

Coal Canyon Open Space to Rocky Mountain Arsenal

July 27, 2018

Richard Stevens:

My cell phone was kept near in case the Rivoli's Hummingbird returned to Aurora.

Temperatures reached 85 degrees today.  Winds were 9-10 mph most of the day.  Afternoon gusts reached 33 mph when the thunderstorm rolled in about 3:00 pm.

Birding centered on the west side of Denver.  The Barn Owls were still at Red Rocks Park (Jefferson).  

Next, I headed to Coal Canyon Open Space.  It was a little late to search for the Baird's Sparrow last reported east of Plainview Road on 7/22.  The Dickcissel in the same area was also not around.

Note: "ammodramus" has been reorganized with the 59th supplement of the AOU checklist.  Baird's Sparrow (Centronyx bairdii ), Le Conte's Sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii), Nelson's Sparrow (Ammospiza nelsoni) with Grasshopper Sparrow the only "ammodramus" Ammodramus savannarum)

I continued north on Plainview Road and saw an "ammodramus" sparrow fly from a rock to the ditch near the road.  While searching for the sparrow, I heard a Dickcissel calling north of the road.

The spot was after Plainview turned from north to west (north of the pullover at bend wooden fence, Baird's Sparrow spot).  Look for wooden signpost without a sign and metal post with yellow and white triangles.

The "ammodramus" sparrow turned out to be a real "ammodramus".  A Grasshopper Sparrow was observed walking along the ditch on the south side of the road!

The thunderstorm rolled in around 3:00 pm and further birding in the area was impossible.

On the way home, I stopped at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  The rain had stopped by 4:30 pm.  Many birds moved around.

While I scoping the cottonwoods at the cement bridge around mile two of the wildlife bridge, the Red-headed Woodpecker flew to a cottonwood near the cattail marsh, west side of the road.  Nice find by Dave King on 7/21!

A flock of sixty+ male Lark Buntings flew back and forth over the road at mile 4.5.  A Cassin's Kingbird hawked bugs at mile 5.0.  Another Cassin's Kingbird was found a mile 9.5.

One Burrowing Owl was out at the prairie dog village south end of the Rattlesnake Hill parking area.

Rains started again and winds picked up to 24+ mph; I headed for home.

My birding day ended by watching our five hummingbird feeders.  It has been a good summer.  Traditionally we see two or three hummingbirds the whole summer.  This year I have seen seven or so Broad-tailed, two Calliope, one Rufous and one Black-chinned Hummingbirds (all females).

Remembering that I have seldom been home and Rebecca is in Texas this month, who knows how many additional birds have flown by?  I put out feeders when I saw a male Rufous and male Broad-tailed Hummingbirds while I was moving the lawn on 7/23.

No comments: