Monday, April 29, 2019

A Day In Boulder County

April 26, 2019

Richard Stevens:

While windy, the 78 degree temperature made for a superb day.

I decided to spend the day in Boulder County.  Afternoon and evening weather predictions were not great for any owling after dark.

My first stop was the LOBO (Longmont-Boulder trail) at Gunbarrel.  I searched for the previously reported Pacific Wren for about an hour.  Short breaks were taken to watch the "infamous" Great Horned Owl owlets.

Many bikers, hikers and dog walkers passed by during that hour.  One woman (Jeannie) stopped to watch the owlets and asked what I was looking for along the creek.  I explained the uncommon Pacific Wren; she said, "You mean like that bird over there"?

Yes, she saw the wren that I had missed.  We watched the Pacific Wren for another 3-5 minutes before it flew south across the path and disappeared in the thickets.  I will take the sighting anyway it comes!

Next, I drove north to Lagerman Reservoir.  The Pectoral Sandpiper was easy to pick out of a group of shorebirds, which included two American Avocets, a Least Sandpiper and Black-necked Stilt.

I returned south to Boulder Creek and 75th Street.  An Eastern Phoebe flew in and out of the barn on the north side of Boulder Creek, just west of 75th street.  Eventually a second Eastern Phoebe also emerged from the barn.

Before going to lunch, I made two additional stops.  A scan of the prairie dog villages along Lookout Road east of 75th did not find any Burrowing Owls.

A drive down Hollow Crane Road found an additional Eastern Phoebe.  I missed a fourth at 61st Road north of Hygiene Road.

After lunch, I hiked up Hawthorne Gulch searching unsuccessfully for a Northern Cardinal that has been around for several years.

Finally, I explored Mesa South trail and Skunk Canyon.  Nothing uncommon appeared this afternoon.

I hiked west enough for the return trip at dusk.  No owls were found this evening.  Flammulated Owls surely are back in Colorado.  Unfortunately, most of the territories are in areas where roads are still inaccessible due to snow and mud.

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