Monday, November 19, 2018

Cherry Creek Reservoir

November 18, 2018

High temperature was 49 degrees in Aurora today.  Winds were calm, it was quite a pleasant afternoon for a hike.

Been up all night, want to write a quick note before giving up for the day.  A friend of Rebecca's was in a car accident in yesterday's snowstorm so we stopped by Cherry Creek Hills on our way back from the mountains.  While Rebecca took care of Jean, I drove over to Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe County).

The pair of Rusty Blackbirds was still at the pond northwest of the swim beach.  It is nice to see them so close up.

I scoped the lake from tower loop.  Two Common Loons and eight Bonaparte's Gulls were below the dam.

Drove around to Pelican Bay and scoped the sand spit.  Only a few gulls were there as a fisherman walked down the spit.  The Mew Gull was with dozens of Ring-billed Gulls and a Herring Gull standing on the long black hollow tubes outlining the Bay's marina.

Hundreds of gulls stood on the Prairie Loop mudflats.  I managed to get a couple of Bonaparte's Gull photos.  Well that was until two adult Bald Eagles flew over.  The Eagles returned 10 minutes later and ensured that the gulls did not return from their first escaping flight to Pelican Point.

From the Prairie Loop I took advantage of the receding water and frozen ground and walk west to the Lake Loop.  I was looking for Swamp Sparrows or Marsh Wrens.

Best bird was a Long-eared Owl somewhat hidden in a Russian Olive Tree about 100 yards west of the bird platform (Prairie Loop).

A Virginia Rail was just south of the beaver dam below the Cottonwood Creek bridge (Prairie Loop).   In past years, standing on the bridge for thirty minutes would surely turn up a Virginia Rail sighting.

I hung around until after sunset.  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

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