Thursday, May 9, 2019

Trips to Cherry Creek State Park

May 9, 2019

Richard Stevens:

High temperature was 40 degrees today.  Winds were 9-10 mph with gusts to 17 mph through the day.

I stopped at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) three times today.  At first light, I listened for the mystery Rail at the Cottonwood Creek Pond.  Nothing, no sighting or it was heard.

Next I drove to Clear Creek Valley Park (Adams).  The previously reported Piping Plover was just south of the parking area!  Not often one can find Piping Plovers on one day in two Counties around the Metro area!

I returned around 2:00 pm.  This time I played a recording and though a bird with a similar voice responded for 5-10 seconds.  Again, there was no sighting.

This trip I drove over to the swim beach.  Both the Piping Plover and Semipalmated Plover were standing along the shore.  Photos on the CoBus photo library: 

I walked from the swim beach to Augie's Pond to search for the Rusty Blackbirds.  None was found.  Many Brewer's Blackbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, a pair of Yellow Warblers, a pair of Wilson's Warblers and a Lincoln's Sparrow were around the Pond.

A stop at the model airplane field found two Yellow-headed Blackbirds and a male Lark Bunting.

Many sparrows were again at the Lake Loop.  While no Field Sparrow was found, the sparrows did include Chipping, Lark and White-crowned Sparrows.  Several Yellow-rumped Warblers also fluttered around the sagebrush.

I watched the Wild Plum grove back at the eastern boat ramp for 30 minutes.  Many Yellow-rumped Warblers, Chipping Sparrows, three Orange-crowned Warblers and a pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers grabbed insects on the bushes.

On final return to Cherry Creek Reservoir was around 7:00 pm.  I did not see or hear the mystery bird (Rail?).  This time I circled the pond.  My thoughts that it would be dry were not correct.

First, the water level in the field to the east of the pond had just a little water, no big deal.  Continuing east and north the water level rose, no big deal my hiking boots are waterproof.  Then water levels rose to the tops of my boots, then to the top of my socks.  It was too late to turn back; boy, the water was cold.

Birds around the Pond included one Great-tailed Grackle, many Common Grackles, and many Red-winged Blackbirds.  One Sora and two Virginia Rail responded to recordings.

Back at the model airplane field, a female joined the male Lark Bunting.  Sparrow count along the Lake Loop had not changed.

No owls appeared along the shooting range entrance road this evening.

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