Friday, December 28, 2018

Sixteenth CoBus Pawnee National Grasslands Christmas Count

December 24, 2018

Richard Stevens:

It was a pleasant 47 degrees this afternoon.  Winds were 5-6 mph with gusts reaching 17 mph.

The sixteenth CoBus Pawnee National Grasslands (Weld) Christmas Count took place today.  Six birders and six feeder watchers participated.

Shortly after sunrise, we found two Sharp-tailed Grouse walking along Weld County Road 138, just east of CR 117.  While this subspecies is the "plains" Sharp-tailed Grouse it is not considered a separate species from the "mountain" subspecies.

Crow Valley Campgrounds the heart of the Christmas Count had few birds.  No owls, Common Redpolls, or other uncommon birds were found.

Lapland Longspurs were found at two locations.  One possible McCown's Longspur was also reported; however, identification is still being considered.

Highlight was a Snow Bunting along Owl Creek, north of the Experimental Range Office.  Terry Michaels and I also found a Short-eared Owl flying south down Owl Creek.  It was flying toward the Office.

No other uncommon birds were found.  One feeder watcher had a Northern Saw-whet Owl in his pine trees.  After the count was over, we drove over to his ranch and relocated the little bird deep in a pine tree.  It almost looked like a birds nest.

Full Christmas Count List will be posted in a future issue of "Colorado Field Notes".

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