Sunday, April 7, 2019

E. Arapahoe County & Unsuccessful Greater Roadrunner Search Adams County

April 6, 2019

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached 70 degrees.  Winds were 9-10 mph with several gusts at Barr Lake at 24 mph.

I was out driving the Eastern Arapahoe County Loop when receiving a text message about a Greater Roadrunner at Barr Lake State Park (Adams County).

Eastern Arapahoe County was quiet this morning.  Misses: no Red-headed Woodpeckers at usual location (County Line Road and Box Elder Creek); no Northern Mockingbirds along CR 42 east of CR 161.

The Burrowing Owls have not yet arrived along CR 30, east of CR 149.  No Kingbirds were found along the route.

I scoped the fields around Barr Lake for four hours or so.  This included a walk along the main Barr Lake trail from the Visitor's Center to the western boardwalk.  I even hiked the prairie trail from the Visitor's Center east to the Park border. 

The Greater Roadrunner was never seen.  While I would not report finding the bird, I heard a series of (as Sibley states) low, hollow, wooden clatter or rattle "trrrt" that is produced by the bill.  

I played a Greater Roadrunner recording and this rattle was repeated at least twenty times in ten minutes or so.  

Unfortunately, I was standing next to the cattail field at the Niedrach boardwalk.  I do not know if the many Red-winged Blackbirds could produce such a noise.

The sound may have come from the tall yellow grasses just west of the only 6-7 foot leafless bush along the south side of the canal.  Location is about 200 yards from the nature center where the bird was seen earlier in the morning and later running west.

No owls appeared along the DIA Owl Loop this evening.

On an editorial note, has anyone else noticed that someone bulldozed all the prairie dog mounds at Trussville Road & 114th avenue? If anyone knows, who did or who authorized the action, please leave a comment on this post.  I called the Airport and only received a run around.

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