Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Search for Flammulated Owls

May 4-5, 2019

Richard Stevens:

Terry Michaels and I searched two days (nights) for Flammulated Owls in northwestern Larimer County.

The temperature reached 45 degrees in Walden today.  Terry and I spent most of the last two days in the forest along Pennock Pass.  It was much colder there.

We finally got out of Denver Saturday afternoon.  Equipped with snowshoes, tent and warm clothes our plan was to attempt to find Flammulated Owls.  Snowdrifts usually restrict access until late May.  

While we used our snowshoes on several occasions, the lack of snow surprised us.  Eventually we hiked about nine miles into the forest.

On Saturday night, we found a Flammulated Owl near a historical nesting spot.  Shortly after midnight (5/5), we would locate two additional Flammulated Owls.

May 4 & 5 are nowhere near our early dates for Flammulated Owls; access is tricky.  My early date is 3/16 (2004) and 3/31 (2015) with two earlier May dates 5/2/2011 and 5/4/2003.

Others early dates include: 3/29/2003 (Boulder) and 4/2/2001 (Wunderland Lake, Boulder Cty)

On the way to Gould the early morning of 5/5, we found (heard) two Boreal Owls within 0.2 miles west of Cameron Pass (Jackson).

After a few hours of sleep, we drove around Walden Reservoir (Jackson).  It must be too early in the spring; we found few birds.

Lake John Wildlife Area and Delaney Buttes were also a disappointment.

Our birding day ending by watching 40+ Greater Sage-Grouse at the Jackson County Road 26b Lek.

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