Sunday, October 28, 2018

Birding Around Arapahoe County (mostly)

October 27, 2018

Richard Stevens:

It was another spectacular fall day in Colorado.  Temperatures reached 70 degrees.  Winds were 11-12 mph with gusts to 17 mph.

I decided to bird in Arapahoe County because of a morning report of a possible Tufted Duck at Marston Reservoir (Denver).  The Denver water reservoir is surrounded by Arapahoe County.  In addition, I did make a detour to Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas) just south of the Arapahoe County line.

I arrived at Marston Reservoir and scoped the duck from quite a distance.  It did not appear right for a Tufted Duck.  A friend lives just north of Marston Reservoir and I scoped the lake from her kitchen window.  At closer range, I concluded that it was not a Tufted Duck.  Perhaps others will change my mind, more later.

From the southwest end of the Lake, I saw two Common Loons, a Pacific Loon, several dozen Western Grebes, a raft of Ruddy Ducks and a group of American Coots.

My next stop was nearby Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas).  The Red-necked Grebe reported earlier in the week was not found.  Consolation birds included a Surf Scoter and Common Loon.

I passed South Platte Park Reservoir (Arapahoe/Jefferson) on the way back to Bowmar neighborhood (Arapahoe).  There was no sign of the Tropical Kingbird.

Wynetka Ponds is located at Blue Sage Drive and West Bowles Avenue (Arapahoe).  Few birds moved around until I reached the exit at the northwest corner.

A Harris's Sparrow accompanied five White-crowned Sparrows under the feeders behind the crème colored house.  They eventually flew east under the pines (next to the colored plastic flowers).  Later they flew south into the Park (trees near the pond).

Cornerstone Park (Arapahoe) had few birds and many people.  This park does host many geese in winter. 

Progress Park is across South Hickory Street (east of Cornerstone Park).  A Hermit Thrush lurked under the willows by the Pond.  A White-throated Sparrow was with four+ White-crowned Sparrows in the riparian area on the north side of the Park (below the apartments).

A stop at Willow Spring Open Space (Arapahoe) did not find the Swamp Sparrow reported yesterday.  The cattail fields here are huge.  The Swamp Sparrow had many places to hide.

I broke my rule about visiting Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) on the weekend.  As I walked the Cherry Creek dam trail to the Pelican Bay sand spit, I notice four idiots and their unleashed dog chasing the many gulls off.

Nothing uncommon was found at the other end of the Lake at Pelican Point.

My birding day ended at Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).  Waves were high which made scoping the waterfowl difficult.  I did pick out one Common Loon and one White-winged Scoter.  Both were on the far side of the Lake from my vantage point at the upper swim beach parking area.

Gulls were scattered across the lake.  No uncommon ones were identified.

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