Sunday, October 21, 2018

Arapahoe & Adams Counties

October 20, 2018

Richard Stevens:

It was another spectacular fall day in Colorado.  High temperature was 68 degrees.  Winds varied from 8-9 mph with gusts to 15 mph.

I walked into Aurora Reservoir from the South end.  Two White-winged Scoters were off Senac Cove along with many American Coots, Ruddy Ducks, Western Grebes, Horned Grebes and Eared Grebes.

The Mew Gull and one of the Iceland Gulls were among several hundred Ring-billed Gulls east of mile 2.5.  Dozens of California Gulls and two Herring Gulls were in the same area.

The Common Loon was around mile 4.5.  The Pacific Loon was not spotted.

I did not drive around to the west side, inside headed for Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).

The Surf Scoter was 20 yards off the south end of Lake Ladora.  Two Western Grebes and a few Horned & Eared Grebes were also on the lake.

Many shorebirds walked the north shore of Lower Derby Lake.  The American Golden-Plover was among Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitchers and Killdeer.

The American Golden-Plover eventually flew to the south shore; unfortunately, the bird landed below the sandbar and out of sight. 

A Peregrine Falcon circled several times and landed in trees on the north shore.  I briefly searched for Red-headed Woodpeckers along the Wildlife Drive and the Swamp Sparrow at Marys Lake.  Neither was found.

Cherry Creek Reservoir was my last stop of the day.  The Mew Gull was back on the Pelican Bay sand spit.  If I had not been watching it for the past month I could not have picked it out of the hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls.  Its distinctive 2nd winter pattern has become an easy id now.

I scoped the lake for scoters and loons.  No scoters, but I did find the Red-necked Grebe reported yesterday by Betty Glass, Great Find Betty!  The bird was in the center of the lake, north of the Mountain Loop, of course will move by tomorrow.

My final stop was Pelican Point.  As I walked to the Point, a Harris's Sparrow was spotted in the Russian Olive tree just north of the huge downed tree near the water's edge.

If it is not here tomorrow, I would look in the group of bushes behind the restroom (spot of the Northern Parula (April 2017).

Most shorebirds were quite far away on the southern shore of the lake.  I scoped 15 Dowitchers (most likely Long-billed), seven Killdeer, two Greater Yellowlegs, one Lesser Yellowlegs and two peeps.

One plover I watched long enough to determine not a Killdeer.  It was too far away to label American Golden-Plover or Black-bellied Plover.

Four American Tree Sparrows and one Song Sparrow wandered along the edge of the willows at Pelican Point.

Photos of the Surf Scoter & Harris's Sparrow (bad light) were put on the Colorado Birding Society's Photo Library; "recent favorite photos" link: 

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