Sunday, September 16, 2018

Birding Around Denver

September 15, 2018

Richard Stevens:

The high temperature of 94 degrees beat the old record of 92 degrees.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 20 mph.

I left home before sunrise.  One of my target birds was the Northern Waterthrush reported yesterday by Jerome Cech at the Buckley Ranch Open Space (Adams County).  I wanted to arrive before too many dog walkers past by (and many did about 20 minutes after my arrival).

The Northern Waterthrush was walking around the inlet area.  Unfortunately, it only allowed a ten second look before it flew to the outlet area.  The outlet canal had much weeds around it.  The Northern Waterthrush walked south down the outlet canal a disappeared.

The area had a no trespassing sign; I could not follow the bird or get closer.

A walk around the northern side of the pond added two Wilson's Snipes, four Wilson's Warblers, a female Common Yellowthroat and several House Finches to my list.  A Brown Thrasher at the northwest corner was a pleasant surprise.

Already at 104th avenue, I decided to continue west toward Welchester Tree Park (Jefferson).  

A stop at Margret's Park (Adams) in Westminster was especially rewarding.  The first hike around the Pond found only one Western Wood-pewee (northern side).  

The second trip was much better; however, I was always 1-2 seconds late in taking a photo.  A male MacGillivray's Warbler perched for a good 8-10 seconds along the southern canal.  My camera did not boot fast enough.

A pair of Wilson's Warblers, a Yellow Warbler and the Western Wood-pewee were along the southern side.  A calling Gray Catbird finally popped out of the willows below the trail.

While trying to find a second calling Gray Catbird on the northern side, a Cassin's Vireo flew out of the cottonwoods.  Shortly after a Nashville Warbler appeared from the willows.  A second pair of Wilson's Warblers was also in the willows.

After talking to a couple of local residents, It was pointed out that the partial leucistic Red-tailed Hawk was still in the area and seen this morning.  I headed over to the east end of the Legacy Golf Course and sure enough, the Hawk was perched in a tall cottonwood!

My next stop was Welchester Tree Park (Jefferson).  I did not expect the Hooded Warbler found by many last week to be around.  In fact, nothing uncommon was encountered during my hour stay.

It was a beautiful day, although hot, I decided to continue south to Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas).  It took about a whole three minutes to spot the Prothonotary Warbler south of the north marina.

It stayed 12-15 feet above in the cottonwoods.  See Colorado Birding Society's website (recent witness photos) for a look at the bird. 

I then scoped the lake from the western end of the dam.  The Parasitic Jaeger and Long-tailed Jaegers, and Sabine's Gull were below the dam.  Regrettably, still too far away for anything but a witness photo.

I stopped at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) on the way home.  The Mew Gull was not at its usual spot on the small sandy beach northwest corner of Pelican Bay.

The adult Sabine's Gull was seen flying around below the dam.  I did not relocate the juvenile bird.

Four Semipalmated Sandpipers, a Lesser Yellowlegs and a few Killdeer were the only shorebirds on the Prairie Loop mudflats.  Eventually, these mudflats should attract more shorebirds.

A quick scope of Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) from the upper swim beach parking area, did not find any jaegers or uncommon gulls.

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