Friday, July 26, 2019

Back In the Metro Area

July 25, 2019

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached 90 degrees today.  The 9-10 mph winds kept the day feeling cool.

I arrived at the Audubon Nature Center (Jefferson) around 5:25am.  Regrettably, the Painted Bunting did not appear by the time I departed at 9:00am.  Note: James McCall saw the bird at 9:25am!

While the Painted Bunting was missed, quite a few birds were around.  Many Spotted Towhees sang and flew around the Nature Center.  One female Spotted Towhee walked within six feet of my chair.  Two Gray Catbirds also ran around in the bushes between the feeders and me. 

Several Yellow-breasted Chats called from the willows behind me and I was able to see two of them.  The highlight had to be a Sage Thrasher that walked down the path around 6:00am.

Afterwards I returned home by way of the Walker Gravel Pit (Douglas).  The Common Loon was still there.  From my photos, it appears that it is molting many of its flight feathers and is reluctant to fly.  The Eastern Phoebes that nested along Cherry Creek near the highway 86 bridge were no where to be seen.

The next stop was the Delaney Farm and Museum (Arapahoe) at Chambers and Alameda in Aurora.  I hiked most West Toll Gate Creek that runs through the Open Space.

An all red bird report sounded like a Summer Tanager; it had no black wings (Scarlet Tanager) or chin (Northern Cardinal).  However, the report was two days old and no red bird was found.

My birding day ended at the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver).  No Burrowing Owls have been found in months.  Destruction (bulldozing) of many prairie dog mounds appears to have chased the Burrowing Owls elsewhere. 

I plan to walk Buckley Road (east side of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal) in the next couple of days.  Perhaps the Burrowing Owls have moved over there.  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

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