Thursday, January 30, 2020

Another Birding Day Around Denver

January 30, 2020

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures only reached 39 degrees today.  Winds were 12-13 mph with gusts at 4:00 of 29 mph along the DIA Owl loop.  It started snowing around 2:00 pm

I started my birding day scoping Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe County).  Several thousand gulls stood around the shore, mostly at mile 2.5 and 4.0.  Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls were the only uncommon gulls picked out.

I was headed toward Richmil Ranch Open Space when a text message stated that the Northern Mockingbird was again spotted at Inspiration Point.  I missed it yesterday; however, it would have been a first Denver County Northern Mockingbird for me.  Plans changed and I headed west.

Yesterday, I wondered what the Mockingbird was eating that attracted it to this small park in the middle of Denver.  There are not many bugs flying about in January; there had to be a source of berries.  That was my focus today.

The north side of the point is rather bare.  Continuing to the south, I found the house with the white metal fence topped with white lanterns had a row of bushes full of berries along the fence.

The wait was less than 10 minutes before the Northern Mockingbird popped up onto the fence.  It disappeared into the large area of low firs before my camera was ready.  It took another 20-minute wait before the Northern Mockingbird jumped back up to the berry bushes; I have no idea what species the bushes were.

Photos of the Northern Mockingbird were posted on the Colorado Birding Society's photo library (recent favorite photos link). 

I passed by Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams) on my drive home.  The Lesser Black-backed Gull was searching for food along the northeastern shore of the almost ice free Lake Ladora.

It started to snow as I drove the DIA Owl Loop several times.  In the past, Short-eared Owls have been observed hunting along 114th and West Cargo Road during a snowstorm.  None was seen today.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Birding Across Western Denver Area

January 29, 2020

Richard Stevens:

It was not much warmer today with a high of 41 degrees.  Winds were calmer at 5-6 mph with gusts to 9 mph.

I birded around Denver today.  My first stop was Inspiration Park at I70 and Sheridan Blvd (Jefferson).  Yesterday's Northern Mockingbird was not found while I circled the Park twice.  

The north side has plenty of bushes for the Mockingbird to hide.  I remember the Northern Mockingbird that spent a month along Dry Creek stayed quite hidden most of the time.

A Snow Goose was with a flock of 50+ White-cheeked Geese.

The next stop was more successful.  The Brant was on the grass along the north side of Lake Arbor (Jefferson), captured some nice photos.

I continued north to Lac Amora Open Space (Broomfield).  Many Eurasian Collared-Doves and the White-winged Dove were in the backyards along the south side of the Park.

The White-winged Dove would not allow close approaching.  Captured photos of several of the Eurasian Collared-Dove; however, I did not get the White-winged Dove.  Saw it a second time along Rock Creek Drive and a final time at the first yard west of Rock Creek Road and Poplar Way.

Ran into Frank Farrell who saw a Harlan's Hawk at the Miramonte Blvd entrance to Lac Amora Park.  I later saw the Hawk in a cottonwood along the north side of Josh's Pond (western entrance to park off Rock Creek Drive).

My next stop was the South Platte Birding Area at 88th avenue (Adams).  One of the Long-tailed Ducks continues to swim with Buffleheads and Common Goldeneyes on East Gravel Lake.

The penultimate stop was Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  The Lesser Black-backed Gull was again on the ice at Lake Ladora.

I parked briefly at the 88th Avenue Bridge over the toll road (east of Tower Road).  No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening.

Photos of the geese will be put on the Colorado Birding Society's photo library later tonight. 

Owling at Jackson Reservoir

January 28, 2020

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures only reached 40 degrees today.  Winds were 10-11 mph with gusts to 13 mph.

I took two friends to Jackson Reservoir (Morgan) hoping to repeat an early four owl trip.  

Regrettably, we only found one Long-eared Owl and one Great Horned Owl.  The Eastern Screech-Owl did not make an appearance today.  No Short-eared Owls flew around the northern Campgrounds at dusk.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Searching for Some Mountain Birds

January 27, 2020

Richard Stevens:

Today was pretty much a bust.  Terry Michaels and I drove to Saint Mary's and searched unsuccessfully for the Bohemian Waxwings reported yesterday.

Then we continued to Idaho Springs and missed on the White-winged Crossbill reported yesterday.

Inclement weather forced us to return shortly after Noon!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

A Trip for Bison With Friends

January 26, 2020

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached a pleasant 52 degrees.  Winds were 9-10 mph with gusts to 13 mph.

Rebecca and I took friends out to see the Bison at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  Two adult Bald Eagles thrilled our guests.  Somewhat strange was that one of the Eagles stood on the side of the road near mile 5.0.

After driving the wildlife loop, we stopped by Lake Ladora.  The Lesser Black-backed Gull was standing on the eastern ice.  

Few waterfowl swam in the water at Lower Derby Lake; two days ago, the Lake was completely ice covered.

We passed through Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe) after dinner.  Nothing uncommon was encountered.  We waited until dusk and civil twilight.  No owls appeared this evening.

Aurora Reservoir to Park Meadows

January 25, 2020

Richard Stevens:

High temperature was 53 degrees.  Winds were 6-7 mph with gusts to 13 mph.

Rebecca and I passed by Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) on our way to Park Meadows Shopping Center, Centennial.

Two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls were observed standing on the eastern ice shelf.  A Common Loon swam at the mouth of Lonetree Cove.  It did not have a fishing line wrapped around its bill.  Perhaps the second Common Loon is no longer around.

We made another detour and stopped at the Monaco Shopping Center at Yale and Monaco.  A previously reported flock of Cedar Waxwings was flying between the crabapple trees enjoying the fruit.

Photos on the Colorado Birding Society's website; recent favorite photos link

The rest of the day was spent on not one of my favorite times, shopping at Park Meadows.

A Trek Across Denver

January 24, 2020

Richard Stevens:

It reached 56 degrees and stayed quite warm until sunset.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 14 mph.

Temperatures reached a pleasant 56 degrees today.  Winds were 6-7 mph with gusts to 15 mph. Hello cobirders;

Rebecca and I headed west across Denver today.  The Lesser Black-backed Gull was still on the ice at Lake Ladora, Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams County).

The female Long-tailed Duck was still on East Gravel Lakes (Adams).  A male Barrow's Goldeneye swam in the South Platte River upstream of the green/white tower.

After a late lunch, we made it to Lake Arbor (Jefferson).  Most of the geese were taking off at 4:00 pm.  Unfortunately, the Brant was not around.

We decided to check Indian Hills Golf Course (Jefferson) a short distance southwest of Lake Arbor.  No geese were seen from the main parking area.  However, we observed many geese flying over the golf course (coming from the direction of Lake Arbor).

We drove south to 72nd Avenue, then west to the first turn north which was Carr Street.  Just north of the intersection is 72nd Place.  We parked west of Carr and followed the paved bike path east along the Golf Course.

Thousands of White-cheeked Geese walked along the southern side of the Golf Course.  The Brant was among them, perhaps 400 yards east of Carr.

I put photos of the Brant and a Sharp-shinned Hawk found at southern Dahlia Ponds today on the Colorado Birding Society's photo library.  It was getting dark at 4:20 pm and photos are not the best.

Fremont & Pueblo Counties

January 22-23, 2020

Richard Stevens:

January 22

High temperature was 53 degrees.  Winds were strong all day.  Anomometer readings were 14-15 mph with gusts to 22 mph.

I headed to Fremont County by way of Chatfield State Park (Jefferson/Douglas Counties).

Interesting birds on Chatfield Reservoir included the previously reported loons: Common Loon, Pacific Loon & Yellow-billed Loon.  The White-winged Scoter was also swimming around off the north boat ramp.

Winds were quite strong today; I decided to skip Pueblo Reservoir until my return tomorrow.

Instead, I searched past locations of sapsuckers in Canon City (Fremont).  Unfortunately, none was found at Holy Cross Abbey, Lakeside Cemetery, Rouse Park or Centennial Park.

At dusk, I drove up Phantom Canyon Road in search of owls.  Regrettably, not one owl was found this evening.  Winds were roaring down the canyon.

January 23

It was colder today with a high of only 47 degrees.  Winds were 4-5 mph with gusts to 10 mph.

Two hours before sunrise I again drove Phantom Canyon Road; target birds were Spotted Owls and Northern Saw-whet Owl.  None was found.  No Northern Pygmy-Owls appeared at Beaver Creek Wildlife Area.

Winds were quieter than yesterday at Pueblo Reservoir (Pueblo).  However first I searched and found the Palm Warbler at Valco Ponds Wildlife Area.  The previously reported Golden-crowned Sparrow along the Arkansas River below City Park was not found.

The rest of my birding day was spent walking Pueblo Reservoir at many locations along this long Lake.

Most of the "goodies" previously reported were relocated.  Loons included the Red-throated Loon and two Common Loons.  One of the two Dunlins was off the south marina.

Gulls included the wintering Great Black-backed Gull, one Bonaparte's Gull, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and Iceland Gull.  The Red-necked Grebe was at the western end.

Misses included the Franklin's Gull, the Long-tailed Ducks, Yellow Warbler and Black Phoebe also previously reported.

After an early dinner, I headed back to Denver, deciding to skip the detour to Teller County in search of owls this trip.

Search for Short-eared Owls in Weld County

January 21, 2020

Richard Stevens:

The high was 44 degrees.  Winds were calm to 2 mph.  A few gusts reached 7 mph.

I headed up north toward Lower Latham Reservoir (Weld) today.  The plan was to look for Short-eared Owl near dusk.

A stop at Ken Mitchell Park (Weld) found no uncommon birds.

I found nothing uncommon on Luna Reservoir (Weld).  The previously reported Long-tailed Duck was not found.

The Long-tailed Duck was still swimming around Windsor Lake (Weld).

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening at Latham Reservoir (Weld).  I did entice a Marsh Wren to pop out of the cattails.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Return to Adams & Arapahoe Counties

January 20, 2020

Richard Stevens:

High temperature was 49 degrees today.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 14 mph.

I headed back to Adams County this morning.  The Long-tailed Duck was back on Gravel Lakes.  The pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes was still on the South Platte River (upstream of the green/white tower).

The adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was back on Lake Ladora, Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

By the time I reached Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) it was 3:00 pm.  Hundreds of White-cheeked Geese stood on the ice or swam on the Lake.  It was close to impossible to pick out any waterfowl among the geese.

Aurora Reservoir is increasingly becoming ice covered.  The open water areas were more north and west than a couple of days ago.  

Gulls were closer.  I found two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and one Iceland Gull on the ice.

No Short-eared Owls could be found along the DIA Owl Loop this evening.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Third Snowy Owl Search Is Unsuccessful

January 19, 2020

Richard Stevens:

High today was 45 degrees.  Winds were 4-5 mph with afternoon gusts to 12 mph.

Terry Michaels and I heard a Long-eared Owl and Eastern Screech-Owl while we camped at Jackson Reservoir (Morgan) this morning.

Again, most of the day was spent searching for the reported Snowy Owl.  Our search today extended north to hwy 14 and then west to Kersey.  That was in addition to driving most of the gravel roads north of Riverside and Jackson Reservoirs east to Weldona and west to Kersey.

Five Lapland Longspurs were found along the trek.  A Merlin was found near Weld CR 93 and CR 80.  Raptors included Red-tailed Hawks, one Ferruginous Hawk, two Rough-legged Hawks, half a dozen American Kestrels and a Great Horned Owl.

Another Search for a Morgan County Snowy Owl

January 18, 2020

Richard Stevens:

High temperature today was 43 degrees.  Winds were 8-9 mph with gusts to 18 mph.

Terry Michaels and I spent the day again searching unsuccessfully for the Snowy Owl reported near Riverside Reservoir.  The rancher who reported the owl is adamant that it is a Snowy Owl.

We did not relocate it.  A couple of Lapland Longspurs were found along Morgan CR 4.

We found a Swamp Sparrow along the western side of Andrick Wildlife Area.

A hike to the northwest corner of Jackson Reservoir 30 minutes before sunset found a Short-eared Owl flying back and forth across the field to the northwest.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Birding Around Denver

January 17, 2020

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I birded around metro Denver area today.  High temperature was 54 degrees.  Winds were quite strong at 16-17 mph with gusts to 31 mph.

We returned to Centennial (Arapahoe) for my fourth stakeout of the Carolina Wren.  Already missed 10 hours over three days I was going to give it three hours today.  

After we sat for two hours, the Carolina Wren flew to below the feeders in the backyard.  By the time I retrieved my camera, the wren had walked into a small depression in the yard.  As we waiting for the wren to pop back out, the forever present squirrel scared the bird away.  It did not return in the next hour and we left.

Our next stop was Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams).  The Lesser Black-backed Gull (photos on Colorado Birding Society's website) flew in from the direction of Havana Ponds.  When not on Lake Ladora, I would look at Havana Ponds if interested in seeing the Gull.

We continued east to the Town of Barr.  Only four of the resident flock of fifty Great-tailed Grackles were found today.  Winds of 20+ mph did not help the search.

At Barr Lake, we scoped the Lake from the boat ramp and found a Common Loon swimming in one of the few open water areas.  Less than a dozen gulls were seen.  Only seven Bald Eagles were counted.

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams/Denver).

Search for Snowy Owl in Morgan County

January 16, 2020

Richard Stevens:

It was a cold day with a high of only 36 degrees.  Winds were 5-6 mph with gusts to 18 mph late in the afternoon.

I received a report of a Snowy Owl north and east of Riverside Reservoir (Morgan County); Terry Michaels and I headed up that way.  We spent over four hours searching unsuccessfully for the Owl.  Riverside Reservoir is private; perhaps it is staying on that property?

We ran into several flocks of Horned Larks that were accompanied by Lapland Longspurs.  One Northern Shrike was found along Morgan CR 89.

On the trip home we swung by Jackson Reservoir (Morgan).  The Lake was mostly ice covered.  Only a few gulls hung around.

One Long-eared Owl was found in the western Campgrounds.  The resident Eastern Screech-Owl did not call this evening.

A White-throated Sparrow was between Pelican Campgrounds and the Lake.  Not much else was moving about.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Adams County

January 15, 2020

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I birded in Adams County today.  The high temperature was 46 degrees.  Winds were 16-17 mph with gusts to 28 mph.

The Lesser Black-backed Gull was back on the ice at Lake Ladora, Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

The Long-tailed Duck was swimming in the open water on East Gravel Lake.  Susan Rosine reported it yesterday on Dahlia Pond; however, the sign on the dam tower states East Gravel Lake.

I first saw it on East Gravel Lake on 12/18.  I believed it to be the Long-tailed Duck reported by Scott Somershoe 12/16/2019 on the pond near the Dog Hearing Training Center, just north of Dahlia Pond & 88th avenue.

We then walked the South Platte Birding Area from 88th avenue to Steele Street.  The pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes continues on the South Platte River, just upstream of the green/white tower.

After dropping Rebecca at home, I drove to Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).   I walked down from the south side to the bench near mile 2.5.  Eventually I found the Yellow-billed Loon, two Common Loons and the Pacific Loon.

Later entering from the north side, I found one of the Lesser Black-backed Gulls below the lower parking area pavilion.

No Short-eared Owls appeared this evening along the DIA Owl Loop.  I was parked at 88th avenue just east of the toll road bridge.

I put photos of both Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the Colorado Birding Society's photo library:

Photos of the Long-tailed Duck and Barrow's Goldeneyes are posted on the "recent witness photos" link

Jackson County

January 11-14, 2020

Richard Stevens:

Rebecca and I spent four leisure days cross country skiing and snowshoeing around Gould (Jackson County).  Weather was quite good with moderate winds for this area in winter.  Several nights were calm


American Three-toed Woodpecker: one was found during a snowshoe trip up Zimmerman Lake Loop trail 1/11

American Three-toed Woodpecker across from Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center on 1/12

American Three-toed Woodpecker at Ranger Lakes on 1/14

Several stops at the Colorado State Forest Visitor's Center only saw one Gray-crowned Rosy Finch 

Boreal Owls were heard on a windless night (1/11-early 1/12) at the upper Joe Wright parking area (Larimer)

Boreal Owls (one each) were heard just west of Cameron Pass and in the Colorado State Forest

Boreal Owl was heard at Ranger Lakes on 1/14

Rosy Finches (160 at one private ranch and 110 at another),  none found in Walden

Misses: two attempts to find Greater Sage-Grouse west of Coalmont (CR 26) were not successful

No Dusky Grouse ran across this trip

Best time: playing bridge with friends whose ranch is west of Walden.  Usually their driveway is snow bound but not yet this year.  Their resident Northern Saw-whet Owl has not been heard in a month or so

On the drive back to Denver shortly after midnight 1/15, we stopped at five of the Campgrounds/picnic areas along hwy 14 between Cameron Pass and Fort Collins.  No owls were heard

Friday, January 10, 2020

Search for Uncommon Geese in Adams County

January 10, 2020

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures only reached 30 degrees.  High were 12-13 mph with gusts to 17 mph.

We tried to stay away from traffic today.  It is a difficult goal in today's crowded metro area.

Rebecca and I spent the late morning and early afternoon searching for uncommon geese in Adams County.  While hundreds of geese were observed only one Greater White-fronted Goose was found (no Brants).

The Greater White-fronted Goose was on the ice at the Montbello Recreation Center.

Places searched included Gateway Recreation Pond (many geese), Gateway Pond, Star K Ranch, and Barr Lake State Park.

Again, no Short-eared Owls appeared at the DIA Owl Loop.  Today we parked at 88th avenue and Toll Road location.

Windy Day at Aurora Reservoir

January 9, 2020

Richard Stevens:

High temperature was 43 degrees.  Winds were strong tody at 15-16 mph with gusts measured at 28 mph.

Once again, I returned to Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe County) hoping for better loon photos.  High winds made for high waves and terrible visibility of the waterfowl bobbing up and down difficult.

Eventually, the Yellow-billed, one Common and Pacific Loon were found again.  My better photos were put in January 2020 "Colorado Field Notes"

The adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was not observed today but I did capture the sub-adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.  Its photo will be posted in a day or two on the Colorado Birding Society's photo library: 

No Short-eared Owls appeared along the DIA Owl Loop this evening.  I was parked along West Cargo Road approximately 0.2 miles south (uphill) of Third Creek.

Looking for Owls and Woodpeckers in the Foothills

January 8, 2020

Richard Stevens:

Temperatures reached 62 degrees.  Winds were 12-13 mph with gusts to 22 mph.

Rebecca and I drove to Hwy 67 and Rampart Range Road before sunrise hoping for a Northern Pygmy-Owl photo.  Previously reported Northern Pygmy-Owls did not cooperate today.  We missed the Sugar Creek, Rampart Range Road and Platte River Road birds.

One American Three-toed Woodpecker was drumming 40 yards north of Hwy 67 and Rampart Road!

We continued south as far at Douglas CR 126 and the Cheesman Reservoir trails.  Short hikes up the Cheesman Trail and Wigwam Creek did not find any additional woodpeckers.

Our return was by way of CR 126 (Pine Valley Road) with a brief stop at Pine Valley Ranch Park.  We searched the hill south of Pine Lake and the Narrow Gauge Trail without finding any American Three-toed Woodpeckers or Northern Pygmy-Owls.

We continued our non owl day by missing the Northern Saw-whet Owls at Castlewood Canyon State Park.

Aurora Reservoir

January 7, 2020

Richard Stevens:

It was a beautiful day with a high of 57 degrees.  Winds were 12-13 mph with gusts to 16 mph.

I returned to Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe) this afternoon and walked down from the southern gate.

Birds relocated included the Pacific Loon (Lonetree Cove), Common Loon (mile 5.0) and Yellow-billed Loon (mile 4.5).  One of the Lesser Black-backed Gulls stood with many gulls on the shore at mile 2.5.

Thousands of White-cheeked Geese, three white Snow Geese and two blue Snow Geese swam around the Lake.

Non-geese included Western Grebes, Pied-billed Grebes, Common Goldeneyes, Northern Shovelers, American Coots, Gadwall, and Ruddy Ducks.

Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area & Jumbo Reservoir

January 6, 2020

Richard Stevens:

High temperature today was 56 degrees on the northeastern plains.  Winds stayed 8-9 mph throughout the day.

Terry Michaels, Jacob Washburn, Dave King and I birded in northeastern Colorado after yesterday's Sterling Christmas Count.

Before sunrise, we hiked the field north of Logan CR 46 & CR 89.  One Greater Prairie-Chicken was observed below the northern hill when we set up out scopes.

We returned to the Tamarack Ranch Wildlife Area and covered it by hopscotching.  Jacob and Dave were dropped of at the western end (west of Hwy 55); while Terry and I started at section 1 East.  When Jacob and Dave caught up to our car, they drove to Tamarack Pond and continued to the eastern end of the Wildlife Area.  When Terry and I got to the car, we drove to the southern section across I76 and hiked west.

Terry and I found another Greater Prairie-Chicken wandering section southern west.  The bird was about 3/4 mile west of hwy 55.

Other birds encountered included:

Two Red-bellied Woodpeckers were just west of hwy 55 (section West) and another pair around Tamarack Pond.

A Field Sparrow was in section 7 East windbreak.  Eastern Screech-Owls were found at 6 East and 7 East.

Three Lapland Longspurs were found south of Tamarack Pond and another two or three at South of I76 and west of hwy 55.

Toward the end of the day, we all went over to Jumbo Reservoir (Logan/Sedgwick).  The two Trumpeter Swans were still on the Lake.  Hundreds of geese made picking out other species rather difficult.

We managed to find a lone Greater White-fronted Goose, an Iceland Gull (Thayer's) and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

An Eastern Screech-Owl called in response to our recordings at the northern end of Jumbo Reservoir.  No Short-eared Owls appeared as we ended our birding day watching the fields south of Jumbo Reservoir.

Misses: no Long-eared Owls were found in the Red Lion Wildlife Area windbreak this trip.

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Sixteenth CoBus Sterling Christmas Count

January 5, 2020

The sixteenth Sterling Christmas Count was held on January 5, 2020

Full details will appear in a future issue of "Colorado Field Notes"

Eight birders and seven feeder watchers participated.

Highlights included:

Short-eared Owl (north side of North Sterling Reservoir)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (North Sterling Reservoir)
Eastern Screech-Owl (Pioneer Park)
Common Redpoll (2, Pioneer Park)
Eastern Bluebird (2, Overland Park)
Field Sparrow (Overland Park)
Northern Cardinal (Sterling)
Fox Sparrow (Sterling)
White-throated Sparrow (2, separate locations)

Misses: they exhausted searches in surrounding fields for the Snowy Owl (12/23/2019)

Looking for a 2020 Short-eared Owl at DIA Owl Loop

January 4, 2020

Richard and I waited until dark along the DIA Owl Loop, Adams/Denver Ctys this evening.  No Short-eared Owls flew by.  We did see raptors including a Ferruginous Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk and Bald Eagle.

The Seventeenth CoBus Pawnee National Grasslands Christmas Count

January 3, 2020

The seventeenth Pawnee National Grasslands Christmas Count was held on January 3, 2019.

Full details will appear in a future issue of "Colorado Field Notes"

Six birders and six feeder watchers participated.

Northern Saw-whet Owl (private ranch)
Long-eared Owl (private ranch)
Short-eared Owl (private ranch)

Raptors: Prairie Falcon, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, many Horned Larks, Northern Shrike, Lapland Longspurs

Misses: no Eastern Screech-Owl this year

Second Day of 2020 Birding

January 2, 2020

Transcript of Richard Stevens' email:

I enjoyed a busy day adding to my 2020 bird list.

First stop was Lake Arbor (Jefferson) where the Brant was hunkered down among many White-cheeked Geese.  I did not see the Greater White-fronted Goose.

In Morrison, I sat for about an hour before the Golden-crowned Sparrow appeared below the feeders along Summer Street (Jefferson).  Other birds included Western Scrub-Jays, Mountain Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos.

The Pacific Wren was at Bear Creek Lake Park.  Fortunately, several other birders had the wren stalked out when I arrived.

From there I passed the Carolina Wren spot in Centennial (Arapahoe).  It did not appear during the hour stay.

My final stop of the day was Aurora Reservoir (Arapahoe).  I almost did not get out of the park in time as the southern gate closed at 5:00 pm.  I arrived back at 4:55 pm.

Done at the Lake, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Iceland Gulls stood on the shore near mile 2.5.  From the bench here, I could see the Yellow-billed Loon, the Pacific Loon and three Common Loons!  The Red-necked Grebe (12/31) was not found.

First Day of 2020 Birding

January 1, 2020

Transcript of Richard Stevens' email:

Rebecca and I headed southwest to start our New Year. 

The White-winged Scoter and Pacific Loon were found on Chatfield Reservoir (Jefferson/Douglas Counties).  Other first year birds included Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers, one Red-breasted Merganser, Common Goldeneyes, American Coots, Mallards and Bald Eagles.

We could see from above the Chatfield Reservoir dam that South Platte Park Reservoir (Arapahoe/Jefferson) to the north was mostly ice covered.  Only two White-cheeked Geese were on the Lake.

We hiked a ways up Waterton Canyon searching for sparrows and towhees.  It was a surprise to find neither.

The feeders at the Discovery Nature Pavilion added White-breasted Nuthatches, Dark-eyed Juncos, Downy Woodpeckers, Song Sparrows and a Wild Turkey to our year list.

Castlewood Canyon State Park (Douglas) was our most successful stop.  Highlight was a Northern Goshawk.  We finally found our Spotted Towhee, White-crowned Sparrows, four Red Crossbills, a Pine Grosbeak and Canyon Wren.

Highlight after dark, a Northern Saw-whet Owl was enticed to come and inspect our recordings!

Birding Arapahoe County

December 31, 2019

Transcript of Richard Stevens' email:

I spent three hours at the Arapahoe County Carolina Wren spot.  I found no Carolina Wren.

Then I worked my way to Aurora Reservoir by way of Cherry Creek Reservoir.  The Reservoir was 90 percent ice covered and mostly White-cheeked Geese and Ring-billed Gulls were seen.

Quincy Reservoir was 95 percent ice covered.  Again only White-cheeked Geese and Ring-billed Gull were observed.

Aurora Reservoir was more interesting.  The Yellow-billed Loon swam off mile 4.5.  A Common Loon was at the mouth of Lonetree Cove.  A Red-necked Grebe was swimming in the scuba bay.

A large white bird flew from Lonetree Cove to the swim beach.  I tried to make it out as a swan; however, it turned out to be a lone American White Pelican.

Gulls included three Lesser Black-backed, two Iceland, a dozen Herring, two California and hundreds of Ring-billed.

I will try at add them to my 2020 list on Thursday.  Aurora Reservoir is closed on New Years Day.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

December 30, 2019

Richard and I drove to Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Adams Cty) in the afternoon.  Both Lake Ladora and Lower Derby Lake were frozen.

The Lesser Black-backed Gull was not there today.  No gulls at all were found.

The highlight was a Long-eared Owl in the Governor's Row area.  Two Bald Eagles perched north of Lower Derby Lake.

The ninth CoBus John Martin Reservoir Christmas Count

December 29, 2019

The ninth  not so annual John Martin Reservoir Christmas Count was held on December 29, 2019

Full details will appear in a future issue of "Colorado Field Notes"

Four birders and four feeder watchers participated.

Highlights included:

Eastern Screech-Owl
Barn Owl
Bonaparte's Gull (2)
Lapland Longspur 
Northern Cardinal
White-throated Sparrow (2)

The Second Annual CoBus Las Animas County Christmas Count

December 28, 2019

The second annual Las Animas County Christmas Count was held on December 28, 2019.

Full details will appear in a future issue of "Colorado Field Notes"

Eight birders and seventeen feeder watchers participated.  As land owners we are popular in Las Animas County.

Northern Saw-whet Owls (3 at separate locations)
Northern Pygmy-Owl (2, separate locations)
Western Screech-Owls (3 pairs)
Long-eared Owl (1)
Short-eared Owl (2)
Juniper Titmouse (Lake Dorothey Wildlife Area)
Winter Wren (private ranch)
Rufous-crowned Sparrow (2 each at separate locations)
Red-headed Woodpecker (private ranch)
Chestnut-collared Longspur (2)
Chihuahuan Ravens
Bewick's Wrens
Pinyon Jay (2, private ranch)
Cooper's Hawk 
Fox Sparrow (Slate-colored, private ranch)
Greater Roadrunner (2)

At Trinidad State Park 
Pinyon Jay (2)
Gray-crowned Rosy Finch (6)
Brown-capped Rosy Finch (2)

The Sixteenth CoBus Cottonwood Canyon Christmas Count

December 27, 2019

The sixteenth CoBus Cottonwood Canyon (Baca Cty) Christmas Count was held on December 27, 2019.

Full details will appear in a future issue of "Colorado Field Notes"

Four birders and three feeder watchers participated

Highlights included:

In Cottonwood Canyon:
Greater Roadrunner (CR M)
Bewick's Wrens (2)
Western Screech-Owls (2)
Rufous-crowned Sparrow (3)
Winter Wren 
Ladder-backed Woodpecker (pair, western draw, 1 south draw)
Short-eared Owl (CR 7)

In Picture Canyon:
Rufous-crowned Sparrow (south of parking lot)
Curve-billed Thrasher (ridge near closed door)
Greater Roadrunner (entrance hill)
Northern Mockingbird (near Oklahoma border)

The Thirteenth CoBus Lamar Christmas Count

December 26, 2019

The thirteenth Lamar Christmas Count was held today.

Full details will appear in a future issue of "Colorado Field Notes"

Four birders and five feeder watchers participated.  It was one of the slowest Christmas Counts we have conducted

Highlights were few:
Harris's Sparrow
Great-tailed Grackles
Northern Cardinal (Lamar Community College)
Pine Siskins

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that had been hanging around Willow Creek Park