Sunday, January 13, 2019

Impromptu Day of Birding!

January 13, 2019

Richard Stevens:

High temperature today was 36 degrees.  Lack of wind made for a fantastic day!

I was not planning on birding today, just watching two football games.  Took a friend to early church and lunch, but when I passed Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) had to stop and check for the Rusty Blackbird(s).

My only equipment today was the 8X21 binoculars that I keep in the car.  We had stopped by another friend's house to say hi.  He was gifted a new scope for Christmas and returned my backup scope (good deeds do pay off, later).

It was a beautiful morning with mostly unmarked snow covered grounds.  Wind was calm to immeasurable. The female Rusty Blackbird was searching for food up the western stream that flows into the swim beach pond.  

The male was not found, neither was the Brown Thrasher.  I circled the pond area looking for Brown Thrasher tracks.  Several Black-billed Magpie tracks were observed as they made them.  Whether I could distinguish between magpie and thrasher tracks was undetermined.

I detoured to Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) on the way home.  My backup scope came in handy!  From the signed Lower swim beach parking area (northeast of Visitor's Center), I picked out an Iceland Gull among hundreds of Ring-billed and two Herring Gulls.

Then I hiked up the western parking area (just north of the boat storage area).  Another Iceland Gull was not far off the dam.  The Long-tailed Duck continues in the open water off the swim beach parking area.  However, it was around the corner from that parking area and out of view from the lower parking area.

I did see what could be called a Glaucous-winged Gull if one is so inclined.  The Glaucous Gull and Great Black-backed Gull reported yesterday were not found.

The way home passes not far from the eastern end of the First Creek Trail (Denver).  Hence, I had to stop and go for Rusty Blackbirds in two Counties in one day.

The four Rusty Blackbirds were in approximately the same area of First Creek as yesterday.  They were just northeast of the horse corrals.  Three Rusty Blackbirds stayed close together as yesterday, the fourth loosely trailed behind when they moved.

I will put photos on the Colorado Birding Society's website in a few hours.
"recent favorite photos" link

No Short-eared Owls appeared at sunset along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver).

I missed the football games, enjoyed a great winter day of birding!

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