Friday, October 19, 2018

Birding A Day At Barr Lake

October 19, 2018

Richard Stevens:

I celebrated this splendid fall day by birding eight hours at Barr Lake (Adams). 
High temperature was 66 degrees.  Winds were mainly 6-7 mph most of the day.

The time was split about in half between the south and north sides.  Mileage covered from mile 0.5 (Niedrach boardwalk) to mile 4.5 of the north side was 10 miles.

Not much was expected in the way of passerines and that proved accurate.  

Shorebirds were too far off the Niedrach Boardwalk for much identification.  Fifteen Dowitchers, one Black-bellied Plover and dozens of Killdeer walked the shore south of the boardwalk.

A juvenile Field Sparrow with its pinkish bill, white eye ring and streaked breast was in the thick bushes in the center of the Niedrach loop.

I scoped the many American White Pelicans looking for a Brown Pelican.  One should have been blown into Colorado with the storms back east or not.

A flock of fourteen Yellow-rumped Warblers fluttered about at mile 8.8 (Visitor's Center footbridge is 9.0 & 0.0).

Another flock of six Yellow-rumped Warblers, two Black-capped Chickadees and an Orange-crowned Warbler were off the banding station.  A lone Hermit Thrush skulked under fallen cottonwoods northwest of the banding station.

The north side of the Lake was a shorebird bonanza.  Some of the birds observed included an American Golden-Plover (below the dam south of the old stone house), five Black-bellied Plovers (halfway between the end of dam (mile 6.0) and the disjoint pond at mile 4.5.

Twenty seven Long-billed Dowitchers and two American Avocets probed for food in the pond.

Shorebirds between the pond and dam included two Pectoral Sandpipers, a Stilt Sandpiper, three Least Sandpipers, forty two Wilson's Phalaropes, two Lesser Yellowlegs, one Greater Yellowlegs, and dozens of Killdeer.

Another Hermit Thrush, a Virginia Rail, two Song Sparrows and an unidentified wren were below the dam on the hike back to the Visitor's Center.  

Surprisingly no Dark-eyed Juncos, Chipping Sparrows or other sparrows were found.

Raptors seen today included an adult Bald Eagle, two Red-tailed Hawks, two Northern Harriers and a Great Horned Owl.

Long-eared Owls were found at two locations.  Below the dam, north of the side canal and in the entrance windbreak!

A Swainson's Hawk was seen along the DIA Owl Loop just south of Barr Lake.  No Short-eared Owls were encountered.

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