Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Cherry Creek Reservoir Area

August 29, 2018

Richard Stevens:

It was 89 degrees at 4:00 pm in Aurora.  Winds were 8-9 mph.  Rebecca and I passed through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) on our way to dinner.  Wednesday night concerts limit access especially to the Pelican Bay marina.

We did not find the Caspian Tern.  On the way out, we saw a Common Nighthawk cross Lake View Drive just south of Parker Road.  A little brown bat flew across East Hampden Avenue into the Meadow Hills Subdivision.

I followed hoping to get a photo of the bat, which never happened.  A better sighting was a Mississippi Kite flying just above the treetops at the south end of Dawson Street. After 6-8 minutes it disappeared to the southeast.

Later I remembered that Greg Schrab had reported a Mississippi Kite at the entrance of Cherry Creek Reservoir (Parker Road & East Lehigh Avenue) on 7/13/2018.  That would be less than 0.5 miles from today's sighting.

Whether the Mississippi Kite stayed in the area or another was migrating through, I do not know.  The bird was a first county sighting for both of us!

I photos come out they will be posted in the CoBus photo library

Also in the subdivision were two Swainson's Hawks and two Sharp-shinned Hawks.

Successful Day On Mt Evans

August 29, 2018

Richard Stevens:

What a difference the mountains make. High temperature in Idaho Springs was 53 degrees.  It was quite windy as expected on Mt. Evans.  Winds 17-18 mph with gusts to 25 mph.  Still a pleasant day we enjoyed the break from the heat.

Chicago birder Gary Pierce and I headed up to Mt. Evans before sunrise.   A Dusky Grouse crossed the Mt. Evans road at 0.2 miles south of the entrance station.

Nothing uncommon was found at the top and we returned to Summit Lake.  Two Brown-capped Rosy Finches again circled around the northwest corner of the Lake.

It took almost two hours to locate a White-tailed Ptarmigan several hundred yards southeast of the Summit Lake parking area.

An American Three-toed Woodpecker search fortunately only lasted ten minutes before we saw one drumming along the Mt. Captain trail at the Echo Lakes Campgrounds.  Broad-tailed Hummingbirds were the only birds of their family found.

On the way out four Barrow's Goldeneyes were observed somewhat hidden in the northeast corner of Echo Lake.  While a hike along the west side of the lake added a Green-tailed Towhee, Lincoln's Sparrows and a male Pine Grosbeak to our trip list.

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jays, Mountain Chickadees and a Spotted Towhee fluttered around behind the Red Rocks Park Trading Post.  We missed the Barn Owls but did see two White-throated Swifts and a Canyon Wren at the Park.

Arapahoe County Reservoirs

August 28, 2018

Richard Stevens:

A much cooler day with a high temperature of only 77 degrees.  Winds were 6-7 mph with gusts to 12 mph.

While at doing chores, I searched unsuccessfully for the Caspian Tern at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).

A stop at Aurora Reservoir (about 11 miles east of Cherry Creek Reservoir) was more successful.  After scoping the lake from the upper swim beach parking area, I walked from the western dam parking area to the northwest corner.  

A Caspian Tern was standing on the bottom of the dam along with four hundred+ Ring-billed Gulls, thirty+ California Gulls, one Franklin's Gull and one Herring Gull.

The Caspian Tern could have been the Cherry Creek Reservoir bird reported earlier in the day.

Searching for Shorebirds Northeastern Colorado

August 25-27, 2018

Richard Stevens:

August 25

Warmer still with high temperature of 92 degrees.  Winds were 7-8 mph with gusts to 21 mph.  HOT!

Terry Michaels and I headed northeast; our target birds included the Red Knot and other shorebirds reported at Prewitt Reservoir (Logan/Washington Counties).

We enjoyed great success.  Our Prewitt Reservoir list included Red Knot plus Long-billed Curlew, Pectoral Sandpipers, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Great Crested Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, and an Eastern Screech-Owl.

We continued northeast and found Pioneer Park in Sterling another Baltimore Oriole and two Red-headed Woodpeckers.

A stop at Logan CR 67/Tamarack Ranch site did not relocate the Eastern Meadowlarks reported on 8/19.

Our birding day ended at Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area (Logan).  No Bell's Vireos were found today.  Are they gone?

 We did count six Red-headed Woodpeckers, two Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and two Field Sparrows.

After dusk, we heard two Eastern Screech-Owls and two Great Horned Owls (at separate signed areas along the eastern side of the Wildlife Area.

August 26

Wow, high temperature was 99 degrees.  Hot winds of 15-16 mph with gusts to 23 mph made for an uncomfortable day.

Terry and I stopped by Red Lion Wildlife Area (Logan) and found the Marbled Godwits reported on 8/25 by Bill Kaempfer.  Unfortunately, we could not relocate the Bell's Vireo reported yesterday by Bill.

Jumbo Reservoir (Logan/Sedgwick) was quite slow.  A Common Tern was our highlight.  Terry saw a flash of red (Northern Cardinal?) below the western side of the dam; it was not relocated.  Bill's Semipalmated Plovers (8/25) were not found.

We kept in mind that Least Bitterns have been reported several falls below the Jumbo Reservoir dam.  None was found today.

A text message about an adult and juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Stalker Pond (Yuma) caught our attention.  We headed south.

Fortune was kind.  We relocated both of the Yellow-crowned Night-Herons!  Other birds encountered included a Red-headed Woodpecker, male Northern Cardinal, Baltimore Oriole and Marsh Wren.  Later we learned that a Blackburnian Warbler was missed by us.

Our birding day ended with a drive along Yuma County Road 45.  No Greater Prairie-Chickens or Short-eared Owls were encountered this evening.

August 27

High temperature 95 degrees.  Winds 12-13 mph with gusts to 21 mph.  It did not feel any cooler than yesterday.

Terry and I woke up to an Eastern Screech-Owl calling north of Hale Ponds (Yuma).   

We hiked my usual four-mile loop along the Republican River west of Kansas.  Highlight was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo! 

We thought a small wren (Winter or Sedge Wren) popped out of the cattails at the northwestern Hale Pond; unfortunately, it was not seen again.

Other birds encountered included two Red-bellied Woodpeckers and four Eastern Bluebirds.

Bonny Reservoir (Wagon Wheel Campgrounds, Southern Road) were quiet and we headed back to Denver.

Stretching My Legs at Barr Lake

August 24, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Weather quite different than the mountains.  High temperature in the afternon was 90 degrees.  Felt very warm compared to our last few days.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 15 mph.

After returning home, I decided to walk around Barr Lake (Adams County) to stretch my legs after the long drive.

The previous and continuing reported Black-bellied Plover was not found by me.  I hiked the shore from the southeast corner of the Lake to the Niedrach boardwalk.

A Least Flycatcher, Cassin's Vireo and Townsend's Warbler were found on the walk back to my car at the boat ramp.

Burrowing Owls were later relocated along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver) at Trussville Road & 114th Avenue and one along Gun Club Road south of 112th Avenue.

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

Trip to Jackson County, Piping Plover Search

August 20-24, 2018

Richard Stevens:

August 20

Fantastic day with high Temperature of 77 degrees.  Winds were calm (uncommon for up here) a few gusts to 4-5 mph near sunset.

Jacob Washburn, Jamie Thompson, Rebecca Kosten and I headed up to Gould (Jackson County).  

Our target bird was the possible first Jackson County Piping Plover reported yesterday at Eighteen Islands Reservoir.  Unfortunately, none of the shorebirds (Piping Plover, Semipalmated Plover, and Semipalmated Sandpiper) was there today.

We had no better luck later at Walden Reservoir (Jackson). We did not find the Caspian Tern and Pectoral Sandpiper reported yesterday.

To enjoy the cool afternoon (it was getting late) we parked near the Jackson County Greater Sage-Grouse lek until sunset.  No Greater Sage-Grouse appeared this evening.  We assumed that they did not stay around the lek after the lekking season was over.  A beautiful sunset lit the sky above.

August 21

Nice weather continued with a high temperature of 63 degrees.  Winds were only 3-4 mph most of the day.  Gusts of 8 mph recorded at dusk.

The four of us drove to Teller City Ghost Town (Jackson).  Along the trip, we stopped several times to bird.  At a stop at the lakes on the east side of the road, a Purple Martin was observed circling above the trees.  It disappeared on the far side of the lake.  The area was too marshy for us to pursue the Purple Martin and search for a nesting tree.

We enjoyed a couple of hour walk around Ghost Town historical site.  The site is isolated and gets few visitors.  Part of the road is quite rough and may require a truck or 4-wheel drive vehicle during some weather conditions.

Two American Three-toed Woodpeckers were encountered during the hike.  We continued south to the Town of Rand.  No Burrowing Owls were at the Jackson County Road 27 site.

On the trip back, we stopped at the eastern end of Jackson County Road 21 to listen for owls.  None was heard this night.

August 22

A pleasant high of 70 degrees today.  Winds continued to remain calm to 3 mph!

Before sunrise, the four of us drove through the eastern side of the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (Jackson).  Six Greater Sage-Grouse were observed walking along the side of Jackson County Road 31.

Nothing uncommon was moving around the Visitor's Center and we then birded the western side auto loop.

Sage Thrashers, White-crowned Sparrows, Brewer's Sparrows, two Willets are still around their nesting areas.  The Black-throated Sparrow we found on 8/11/2018 was not relocated.  The Dunlin and Pectoral Sandpipers reported on 8/19/2018 also were not relocated.

A return trip to Walden Reservoir again found few birds moving about.  Winds were quite strong.  The highlight was a McCown's Longspur walking along the road at the north side of the Lake.

No Boreal Owls were heard at Cameron Pass this evening.

August 23

Another day like yesterday.  High temperature was 70 degrees with calm winds!

Jacob and I hiked up Ruby Jewell Road about two hours before sunrise.  Regrettably no Boreal or Flammulated Owls were found this morning.

After sunrise, we observed a pair of Red-naped Sapsuckers at the clearing 0.4 miles east of Michigan Reservoir Road (Jackson County Road 41).

We hiked around the end of CR 41 and down to North Fork of the Canadian River.  Highlight was a Hermit Thrush which is considered uncommon (rare) here. 

Back at the KOA Campgrounds near the entrance to the Colorado State Forest (CR 41), we found both Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds (no Calliope).

After a nice barbecue, the four of us walked down to the Crags Campgrounds east of Gould.  A Boreal Owl was heard along the fire road south of the Campgrounds.

It was the only Boreal Owl heard this evening.  We had later stop to listen at the Joe Wright Reservoir parking area (Larimer County).

August 24

It warmed up a bit, high temperature was 77 degrees.  Winds continued to be calm to 3 mph!

Before heading back to Denver, we stopped at Ranger Lakes Campgrounds to listen for Boreal Owls.  None was heard.  After sunrise, we found a male American Three-toed Woodpecker drumming along the north side of the Lake.

Monday, August 20, 2018

First Creek Trail and Barr Lake

August 19, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures were a cool 69 degrees today.  Winds were 6-7 mph with gusts to 22 mph in the afternoon.

Rebecca and I and enjoyed the cool day with a walk along the First Creek Trail (Adams/Denver Counties).

Highlight was a Red-eyed Vireo in the cottonwoods just north of the pond at the western end of the trail (Adams).  A couple of Western Kingbirds and a few Chipping Sparrows were also run across.

The Denver County side of the trail was even slower.  One Western Kingbird and two Lark Sparrows were about all that was seen.

Later we stopped by Barr Lake (Adams).  I (we) again missed the Black-bellied Plover reported along the Niedrach Trail.  A Townsend's Warbler was between the footbridge and the banding station.  We missed the Red-eyed Vireo reported earlier.

Burrowing Owls were observed along 120th avenue, east of Tower Road and down Gun Club Road south of 112th Avenue.  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

Reynolds and Pine Valley Ranch Parks

August 18, 2018

Richard Stevens:

High temperature was a nice 77 degrees today.  Winds 5-6 mph with gusts to 22 mph.

New York birders Charles & Matthew Bissell and I searched for their target birds at Reynolds Park (Jefferson County).  While we did not find all the target birds, the most difficult find a Dusky Grouse was observed.  The bird was 400 yards up the Raven's Roost trail from the Elkhorn trail.

We eventually abandoned the American Three-toed Woodpecker search and drove to nearby Pine Valley Ranch Park (Jefferson).  The long hike up the switchbacks on the Park View Trail eventually found a male American Three-toed Woodpecker along the Strawberry Jack Trail!

The forest was quiet today.  A pair of Hairy Woodpeckers and a flock of Chipping Sparrows were just about all seen.

After dropping my birding companions off, I passed through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) on the way home.

The Mew Gull was again on the sandy shore near the Cherry Creek dam trailhead.  Unfortunately, a kayak stroked by and chased the gulls and Snowy Egrets away.

The Snowy Egret count was 14 at the trailhead, 46 at the Prairie Loop, 6 at Cottonwood Creek pond, 19 at Pelican Point, seven at the Bellevue Pond and another 17 along the shore.

Much of the shoreline around the Park was scoped; the reported Tricolored Heron was not found.  My Great Blue Heron count was eleven adults and four juveniles.

Barr Lake to Cherry Creek Reservoir State Parks to Rocky Mountain Arsenal

August 17, 2018

Richard Stevens:

High temperature was 88 degrees.  Winds were 5-6 mph with gusts to 12 mph.

After Terry Michaels dropped me off at my house, drove over to Barr Lake (Adams) to stretch my legs.  I scoped about six miles of the shore and only found 34 Baird's Sandpipers (off Niedrach boardwalk) and two Killdeer off the banding station sand spit.

Other birds in the woods included a male Black-headed Grosbeak, two House Wrens, two Lark Sparrows and three Ospreys.

Then I drove south to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) and photographed the Mew Gull standing on the sandy shore at the Cherry Creek dam trailhead.

A search for the reported two Carolina Wrens along the Wetlands Loop trail came up empty.  I did phished up four House Wrens that stood on a downed cottonwood where Cherry Creek goes under the trail.

It started to rain about 5:00pm and I left.  Then I picked up Rebecca and we drove through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal on our way to dinner.

The reported Willets were not found at the ponds around mile 9 of the wildlife drive.  We did see three Solitary Sandpipers, four Stilt Sandpipers, nine Wilson's Phalaropes, one Black-necked Stilt and one Ibis too far away to ID (most likely a White-faced Ibis).

Missed Burrowing Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker and Sage Thrashers, we did count four Eastern Kingbirds, three Western Kingbirds and a Ferruginous Hawk.

Southeastern Trip

August 14-17, 2018  

Richard Stevens:

I hitched a ride with Jacob Washburn and Jamie Thompson to meet Terry Michaels in La Junta.  From there we continued to Higbee Valley Road (Otero) where tremendous birding action was occurring.  

August 14

High temperature in La Junta today was 85 degrees.  Winds were a strong 11-12 mph with gusts to 18 mph.

Regrettably, the Zone-tailed Hawk did not make an appearance for us (Terry had seen it the day before).  Joyce Takamine reported seeing it briefly long before we arrived.

Consolation birds were not bad.  Eventually we saw Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northern Mockingbird, Summer Tanager, Eastern Phoebe, Cassin's Kingbird, Eastern Bluebird, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Red-headed Woodpecker, Black-throated Sparrow, and Painted Buntings!

We drove around until dark searching unsuccessfully for one of the Zone-tailed Hawks.

August 15

Temperatures rose to 89 degrees.  Winds were calmer at 5-6 mph; however, winds picked up to 20 mph in late afternoon.

Returned to Higbee Valley Road and again we missed the Zone-tailed Hawk.  Drove around most of the afternoon without seeing any kettles of Turkey Vultures.  We tried CR J where Nathan Pieplow had found some interesting birds on August 13.  We ran across two Curve-billed Thrashers and a Ladder-backed Woodpecker, but unable to find a reported Burrowing Owl (for Otero County).

We ended our birding day at Vogel Canyon Recreation Area (Otero County).  A Rufous-crowned Sparrow was found while we took a leisure hike below the Campgrounds.  Other bird found included a Bewick's Wren, Eastern Phoebe, Cassin's Kingbird and Ash-throated Flycatcher.  No Owls called this night.

August 16

It was even hotter today with high temperatures of 95 degrees.  Hot winds of 7-8 mph swept the plains with gusts to 15 mph.

Our final attempt at finding a Zone-tailed Hawk was a surprise.  Again, no Zone-tailed Hawk turned up at the usual spot.  So we continued southwest down CR 804.  Finally, a kettle of Turkey Vultures was found just past where the Purgatory River makes a big swing to the north.  We hurriedly jumped out of our jeep and set up scopes.  One of the Zone-tailed Hawks was among the circling Turkey Vultures!

We let an unknown birder about our success as we drove back to La Junta.  Jacob and Jamie headed back to Denver while Terry and I turned toward John Martin Reservoir (Bent).

Terry and I made brief stops at several locations in Bent County.  Most were not successful.  No Black Rails or Yellow-billed Cuckoos found at Fort Lyons Wildlife Easement.  No Piping Plover found at John Martin Reservoir.  We missed Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Tempel Grove.

Kiowa County was a little more interesting.  We relocated one of the Neotropic Cormorants wandering around Neenoshe Reservoir/Neegronda Reservoir Reservoirs.  It was at the southeast corner of Neenoshe Reservoir.  A Burrowing Owl and Barn Owl were found at Upper Queens Reservoir and Lower Queens Reservoir was slow.

The infamous birding spot at Kiowa Creek and Kiowa CR 40 did not have any interesting birds this afternoon.

No Common Poorwills or Whip-poor-wills were found at Hale Ponds (Yuma) after sunset.  We did get two Eastern Screech-Owls (Hale; Bonny Reservoir) to respond to our recordings.

August 17

Another hot day with highs reaching 89 degrees.  Winds were quite calm; anomometer reading only reached 4 mph in Yuma County.

An hour before sunrise, Terry and I had one last birding spot to check on this trip.  While we could not bird on the Fox Ranch, we did drive around Yuma County Road U.  A Greater Prairie-Chicken was seen on the hill west of Yuma County Road U and 1.2 miles north of the North Fork of Spring Canyon.

A stop at the Arikaree River crossing Yuma County Road U found two Field Sparrows, a Harris's Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, and eastern White-breasted Nuthatch.

We backtracked to Highway 36 and drove west to Byers and Home.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Cherry Creek Reservoir

August 13, 2018

Richard Stevens:

High temperature reached a warm 89 degrees this afternoon.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 20 mph.

I had banking business near Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County) and drove through the park on the way home.

Pelican Point had the majority of birds.  Among dozens of American White Pelicans and Ring-billed Gulls, I found two Least Sandpipers, a Spotted Sandpiper and one Lesser Yellowlegs. Few birds flew around the lake.

Burrowing Owls continued along Gun Club Road, south of 112th avenue.  The other locations along the DIA Owl Loop had few birds.  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

Trip to North Park

August 9-12, 2018

Richard Stevens:

August 9

I measured a high temperature along Laramie River Road of 81 degrees today.  Winds which usually are strong were only 4-5 mph.

Jacob Washburn, Jamie Thompson, Rebecca Kosten and I headed to Jackson County.  We detoured up Laramie River Road to search for hummingbirds at the Campgrounds.  Regrettably, no uncommon hummingbirds were encountered today.

The few hummingbirds seen included Calliope, Rufous and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds.  Seven Rivoli's Hummingbird (previously called Magnificent Hummingbird) had been reported since 2010.

We stopped at Tunnel, Browns Park and Hohnholz Campgrounds.  A Townsend's Warbler and Dusky Grouse was found at Tunnel. Two American Three-toed Woodpeckers wandered around Brown Park. Another American Three-toed Woodpecker was observed at Hohnholz.

At dusk, we found a Flammulated Owl within 50 yards of a 7/27/2017 sighting.  A Boreal Owl was heard at Chambers Lake.

August 10

Again temperatures were around the low 80s today.  Surprisingly winds were 4-5 mph.  I am use seeing high winds of 20-25 mph in the Colorado State Forest.  

Jacob and I rose early and walked Ruby Jewell Road from Jackson CR 41 (Michigan Reservoir road).  Our rewards were a calling Flammulated Owl and Boreal Owl.  It was almost as if the two owls were competing for airtime!

After sunrise, we relocated the male American Three-toed Woodpecker north of highway 14 and the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center.

We received a call from a friend who has a ranch west of Walden.  A Northern Saw-whet Owl was back, calling next to his house.  The owl was quite high in a Lodge Pole Pine (at least 50 feet).  We heard but never did see it.

My friend's driveway is a good half a mile long.  On the drive out, a Dusky Grouse ran across the road!

We lingered around Delaney Buttes and Lake Johns Wildlife Areas late in the afternoon.  No Greater Sage-Grouse appeared.  Nothing uncommon was found on the lakes.  Highlight was a Clark's Nutcracker that landed briefly on the fence along Jackson CR 12.  It seemed out of place with no trees miles away.

Jacob and I walked several miles down the Michigan Ditch Road after dark.  No owls called this night.

August 11

The temperature trend of highs around 80 degrees continued.  Winds again were only 4-5 mph.

The four of us drove through the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (Jackson) an hour or so before sunrise.  Six Greater Sage-Grouse crossed the unnamed road, east of Highway 125; see previous sightings on the CoBus website:

A number of nesting birds were still around.  These included two Willets, a dozen Sage Thrashers, Brewer's Sparrows, Savannah Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, and Lark Buntings.

A Rough-legged Hawk was also found.  This area maybe the only place to find them in Colorado summers.  However, I believe there are no confirmed breeding records for them in Colorado.

The highlight was a Black-throated Sparrow along the Auto Loop.  We found no previous records of Black-throated Sparrows in Jackson County!

We checked Ranger Lakes for American Three-toed Woodpeckers, found none.  Two Red-naped Sapsuckers flew around.

After dark, Jacob and I returned, found no Boreal Owls around the Lakes or along highway 14 Gould to Cameron Pass.

August 12

The day was hotter than the previous three days.  The high reached 87 degrees today.  Winds continued mild at 4-5 mph.`

The four of us took a stroll around the Teller City Ghost Town this morning.  The old silver mining town has quite a history.  We encountered two Dusky Grouse and a family of four American Three-toed Woodpeckers.

We continued to Rand and passed a previous location of nesting Burrowing Owls.  None was around today.

A male American Three-toed Woodpecker was caught drumming along the east side of Chambers Lake (Larimer County).

A hike up the Zimmerman Loop Trail (Larimer) found three American Three-toed Woodpeckers and two Pine Grosbeaks. Our target bird(s) White-winged Crossbill(s) were not found.

A return to Denver by way of Pennock Pass (Larimer) found a Flammulated Owl near a GPS Waypoint taken in 2016.  Previous nesting spots were destroyed by wildfires a few years ago.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Mt. Evans Byway

August 8, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures were a cooler 83 degrees today in Aurora.  Winds were calm when I passed through Cherry Creek State Park.  However, winds at the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver) picked up to 8-9 mph with gusts to 18 mph.

We enjoyed better success on our target birds today at Mt Evans Byway.  Five Barrow's Goldeneyes were spotted on Echo Lake as we drove by on the way up Mt. Evans.

Two Brown-capped Rosy Finches flew around and landed at the southwest corner of Summit Lake.

A White-tailed Ptarmigan was observed on the hillside at the southeast corner.

On the way down, we walked the southern side of the Campgrounds.  A male American Three-toed Woodpecker was drumming about 20 yards east of the Captain trailhead.

Nothing uncommon was found later when I passed through Cherry Creek State Park (Arapahoe).  No Short-eared Owls appeared at the DIA Owl Loop at sunset.

Reynolds Park and Northwest Aurora

August 7, 2018

Richard Stevens:

High temperature today in Aurora was 86 degrees.  Winds were 14-15 mph with gusts to 22 mph.

My Missouri companions continued to miss their target birds.  Today we went to Reynolds Park (Jefferson).  First, we walked along Foxton Road between the western and eastern parking areas, and then hiked the loop (Oxen Draw to Eagle's View to Raven's Roost back to the parking area.

We missed all the good birds I had found on previous trips (Dusky Grouse, Northern Pygmy-Owl, and Williamson's Sapsucker).

An American Three-toed Woodpecker was eventually heard however briefly observed 40 yards southeast of the Intersection of the Three Intersections.

After dropping them off for their office meeting, I wandered over to Alameda and Havana to search for the Tricolored Heron reported yesterday.  It was not found at the pond, nearby Lowry's Westerly Creek Dam and Wetlands, or the Great Lawn Park (north of the wetlands).

I scoped the Wetlands for about an hour.  The few birds around included two Great Blue Herons, two Snowy Egrets and one Double-crested Cormorant.

Great Lawn Park had one Snowy Egret, as did the Havana-Alameda Pond.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Guanella Pass & Rocky Mountain Arsenal

August 6, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Three of us searched 4-5 hours on Guanella Pass (Clear Creek) without finding a White-tailed Ptarmigan.  It had been awhile since I missed one and this was the longest search by time in years. 

I zigzagged up Rosalie & 603 trails in the fruitless effort.  My two companions from Illinois meanwhile hiked up the west side of the road on the Square Top trail.

We did see Brewer's Sparrows, a Wilson's Warbler, American Pipits and Prairie Falcon. 

An American Three-toed Woodpecker along the Silver Dollar Trail south side of the Guanella Campgrounds was not much of a consolation.  Four Pine Grosbeaks, some Pine Siskins and another Wilson's Warbler were around the Campgrounds.

After dropping off my friends, I drove through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams) to see if the Black-bellied Plover I missed yesterday was still around.

Unfortunately, the three water pools are inside the Bison area and it required a 9 mile drive through the Wildlife Area to reach them.  Perhaps the birder who drove against the one way road yesterday was just trying to avoid the long drive.

Fewer shorebirds in both numbers and variety were around today.  Two Wilson's Phalaropes were different.  One Solitary Sandpiper was a leftover from yesterday.  No Black-bellied Plover was found.

Tired of driving today, I skipped the drive through the DIA Owl Loop and just went home.

Temperature at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was 83 degrees.  Winds were 9-10 mph with gusts to 14 mph under cloudy skies.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Adams County

August 5, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached 87 degrees today.  Winds at Rocky Mountain Arsenal in the afternoon were 9-10 mph.

Rebecca & I took a break from finishing up September's "Colorado Field Notes" and went over to Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  

We walked the Bluestem trail and found three Say's Phoebes, a Western Wood-pewee and a Red-headed Woodpecker.  The woodpecker was at the dead snag 100 yards west of the trail.

I photographed a Sage Thrasher along 6th Avenue at approximately 100 yards west of the canal at Potomac.  We scoped the trees north of the road for the elusive Red-headed Woodpeckers; without finding any.

At the cement bridge along the Wildlife Drive, we found a Least Flycatcher hawking bugs over the cattail lined pond.  Two Western Wood-pewees were also in the area while no Red-headed Woodpecker was found this trip.

At the fence east of mile 5, a Cassin's Kingbird perched.  Probably the same one I observed last trip near mile 5.

Continuing around, we found three pools of water along Havana Street near mile 9 or so.  A nice collection of shorebirds included 17 American Avocets, dozens of Killdeer, a Baird's Sandpiper, one Solitary Sandpiper, one Stilt Sandpiper and one mystery shorebird (will have to examine photos later).

A young Burrowing Owl stood on the gate at the southeast corner of the Rattlesnake Hill parking area.  I got some nice photos of him!

A female Orchard Oriole was near the entrance road to Lake Ladora.

Great sunset as we left the Arsenal!

First Creek Trail (Denver/Adams Counties)

August 4, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures in the afternoon top off at 93 degrees.  Winds were 9-10 mph before the rainstorm moved in and gusts were 22 mph.

I managed to get away in the afternoon and walked the First Creek Trail (Denver/Adams Counties).

The Denver County side had a Townsend's Solitaire, Western Kingbirds, House Finches and a male Blue Grosbeak.  Best bird however was a female Black-throated Blue Warbler, quite out of place.  She stayed low in the cottonwoods just east of the Light Rail Bridge.  She eventually flew to the north side of First Creek.  By the time I figured out how to cross the creek, she was not relocated.

The Adams County side of the First Creek Trail had a female Belted Kingfisher, two House Wrens, many Lark Sparrows and many House Finches.  A juvenile Swainson's Hawk screeched from a lone tree north of the trail.

It started to rain around 4:00 pm and I left.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Another Jaeger Search, Arapahoe County

August 3, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures only reached 79 degrees today.  Winds were 9-10 mph with gusts to 22 mph in the afternoon.

I took a break from chores around Noon and headed back to Arapahoe County.  Again, thousands of gulls stood on the shore near mile 2.0.  Nothing uncommon stood out.  No jaegers were observed.

Next, I tried Cherry Creek Reservoir.  Only approximately 36 gulls flew around the lake.  No jaegers here either.  It started to rain about 2:00 pm.  The gulls and I left.  Gulls flew toward Aurora Reservoir, I toward home.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Search for a Jaeger, Aurora Reservoir

August 2, 2018

The temperature was 66 degrees at 8:00am; highs reached 91 degrees.  Winds measured 8-9 mph with a few gusts to 12 mph.

I visited Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe County) in the morning.  The Jaeger reported yesterday morning at Chatfield State Park had not been reported since noon yesterday.  So, I checked out Aurora Reservoir in case it moved there.

When I visited Chatfield Reservoir on July 29, only a few gulls were observed.  The next day no gulls were found at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe).  While thousands of gulls were at Aurora Reservoir, perhaps they would attract a Jaeger?

Unfortunately, no Jaeger was found today.  The thousands of gulls on the mile 2.0 shore today included over 500+ adult California Gulls.  The lack of ducks was a little surprising.  Six or seven Double-crested Cormorants swan in the far southeast corner.

A lone Least Sandpiper at the northwest corner of the dam was the only shorebird found.  Two Yellow-rumped Warblers fluttered about the trees between mile 7.0 and 7.6.  The Aurora Reservoir visit was therefore quite mundane.

Later, I drove the Jewell-Yale loop on the way home.  One Loggerhead Shrike was the most exciting bird along the drive.  

I recommend not driving the loop at 5:00 pm.  The oil workers must get off work then because 38 trucks kicking up dust pass me going east.

No Short-eared Owls appeared along the DIA Owl Loop this evening.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Front Range College Open Space

August 1, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperature reached 80 degrees.  Winds were 5-6 mph with gusts to 12 mph.

In the morning, the Barn Owl was back at the Oil Office along Gun Club Road south of 112th Avenue.  Two Burrowing Owl were farther south.  Two Burrowing Owls continued at Trussville Road & 114th Avenue.

Later, I walked around the Front Range "College Open Space" (Adams County) for about two hours The Black-throated Sparrow reported yesterday was not found.

Three female or first year Blue Grosbeak flew along the southwestern pond.  Other sightings included a Wilson's Warbler, two Say's Phoebes, and a Rock Wren.

I left before noon to avoid the traffic back to DIA.

Adams County Ranch

July 31, 2018

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached 86 degrees.  Winds remained 14-16 mph most of the day.

Barbecue at friend's ranch in Adams County.  Two Long-eared Owls continued at his windbreak.  No Mountain Plover found on his ranch or along 160st Avenue.

We did see four species of hummingbirds.