Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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.

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