Friday, February 1, 2019

Aurora Reservoir and a Few Additional Stops

February 1, 2019

Richard Stevens:

High temperature today was 54 degrees on this beautiful winter day.  Winds were 6-7 miles with gusts to 12 mph.

After concluding business in Aurora, I visited some Arapahoe County reservoirs.

I did not find the Rusty Blackbird around the Cherry Creek Reservoir swim beach pond and eastern & western streams flowing into the pond.

My next stop was Aurora Reservoir.  I hiked two miles into Aurora Reservoir from the southern entrance.  It was an interesting choice as many gulls stood on the ice shelf at the mouth of Senac Cove.

Most interesting were a Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and an Iceland Gull (Thayer's).  I do not believe most could be observed from the western lower parking area at the swim beach.

The Long-tailed Duck swam about 20 yards off the ice shelf.  I did see her two days ago from the lower swim beach parking area.

I did get witness photos.  The gulls were still 30 yards from shore; I was not stepping on the snow covered ice on such a warm day (or any day for that matter).

I passed the First Creek Trail (Denver) on my way north.  Three Rusty Blackbirds were again feeding along the eastern fork just north of the 56th avenue Bridge.

My birding day ended at Banner Lakes Wildlife Area (Weld).  The majority bird was American Robins.  One Long-eared Owl was relocated along the western windbreak between ponds 6-7.  A Great Horned Owl called from pond 13.  

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.  Watching the spectacular winter sunset from a human less area was a great end to an enjoyable day!

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