Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Winter Like Day in Arapahoe County

November 3, 2018

Richard Stevens:

It was an interesting day with a mixture of sunny skies, rain, snow, clouds and wind.  High temperature was 51 degrees around 2:00pm.  Winds varied from 20-21 mph (Dahlia Hollow Park & Highline Canal) to 14-15 mph at Cherry Creek Reservoir.  At 5:00 pm, winds went down to calm at Cherry Creek Reservoir.

I sat on the green bench along the north trail at Dahlia Hollow Park for about an hour.  The vantage point allowed for a wide view of the stream and surrounding trees in the middle of the Park.

The Black-throated Green Warbler did not show up for me.  Bird count included at least eight Red-breasted Nuthatches, four White-breasted Nuthatches, at least twenty Black-capped Chickadees, dozens of Dark-eyed Juncos, five Blue Jays, many Robins and House Finches.

I then walked up and down the Highline Canal in either direction for at least 1/2 mile.  When encountering locals or people thought to walk the canal much, I inquired about Eastern Screech-Owl sightings.

Any information below is supplied with the promise not to reveal exact locations.  The local residents do not want a horde of birders descending on their properties.

The question offered locations of four Eastern Screech-Owls (or at least four locations with potential five Eastern Screech-Owls).  One person took me to her yard where a pair of Eastern Screech-Owls has nested for the past eight years.  In total, I enticed four of the little owls to peak out of their trees!

My birding day was not quite over.  I noticed a red bird visiting a feeder south of Quincy Avenue.  A beautiful male Northern Cardinal it was!  The property owner came out and asked what I was doing, binoculars not really looking at his house.  He stated that the cardinal comes by once or twice a week.

A brief stop was made at Cherry Creek State Park (Arapahoe) on my way home.  It was snowing during my stay.  When I arrived at the bird platform mudflats, (Prairie Loop) a Swamp Sparrow was walking along the edge of the cattails!  I first encountered the sparrow on 10/18.  At least three additional birders have relocated the bird.

Two Killdeer were the only shorebirds on the Prairie Loop mudflats.  Three Killdeer were at the Pelican Point mudflats.   I did not relocate the Rusty Blackbirds (10/31 & 11/1).

Pelican Bay sand spit and mudflats were not visited.  The swim beach was void of birds.  Many Western Grebes, one Clark's Grebe and 160+ Eared Grebes were scattered across the lake.  No loons, Red-necked Grebe, Greater Scaup or Barrow's Goldeneyes were found.

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