Monday, August 13, 2018

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.

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