Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shorebirds, including Reeve 5/2

Today was my first day of work in a week and a half. On my lunch break I went to Timnath Reservoir. On my drive in I found a Western Kingbird (210) on a fence. The lake itself had a lot of birds but nothing unusual. The most exciting thing was the number of grebes. There was over 200 of each Eared, Horned, and Western, plus about 50 Pied-billed and a few Clark's. The most interesting duck was a continuing male Canvasback. On my drive out just before getting to the end of the dirt road I heard a Lark Sparrow (211) singing. I got out and found it sitting in the distance sitting on a wood fence post. On the east side of the reservoir I heard a Ring-necked Pheasant and saw a group of 8 female Brewer's Blackbird. I ended up with 45 species during this hour break at the reservoir.
After work I decided to stop at Kechter Pit. This was a great idea. The first bird I saw was a tern flying around, which turned out to be a Forster's Tern (212). I then started looking carefully I was able to find 3 Spotted Sandpipers, 10 Least Sandpipers, 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper, 7 American Avocets, and 4 Semipalmated Plovers (213). After carefully going through the terns I found 20 Forster's Tern, I then saw a bird flying around that looked more interesting. In flight I saw a gray belly and gray wings all the way to the tip. I also saw a dark bill and eventually saw red legs when it hung its legs down. It was also a bit smaller then a nearby Forster's Tern. With this it makes this bird a Common Tern (214). After about 40 minutes of searching through the peeps looking for something more I found a bird that had just come in. At first I thought it was going to be a Lesser Yellowlegs. I then started looking at field marks. First, the legs were Orange - Yellow. They weren't as bright orange as the Ruff I saw in Boulder County on May 1, 2008. I then started looking at the bill and it was thicker than a Lesser Yellowlegs. I also saw a white ring around the base of the bill. I saw all of this in about 20 seconds and the bird took off flying towards the north side of the pond. While in flight I knew I needed I needed to look at the rump and what I saw was great. It had a brown rump with a white 'U' going around it. This bird was a Reeve or better known as a female Ruff (215).  Four years and one day later then the first and only Ruff I had ever seen before today.
I then went over to Duck Lake to see what shorebirds might be there. This stop was productive. The shorebirds there was 249 Wilson's Phalaropes, 19 American Avocets, 1 Black-necked Stilt, 3 Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 1 Willet, and 8 Killdeer. During my time there I watched a young Bald Eagle fly over the lake. 
I then stopped to look at a distant marsh on the east side of Timberline Reservoir south of Carpenter Road. Here I found a group of 9 ibis, 8 of which was White-faced Ibis. The other had the blue around the eye and dark on the face. I was however, able to see a hint of pink in the eye. It also had pink legs and to be a Glossy Ibis they have dark legs with pink knees. With this it makes this bird a Glossy x White-faced Ibis Hybrid. I am getting closer to seeing a Glossy Ibis this year in Larimer County. 
My last stop was a quick stop on the north side of Horseshoe Lake. The lake itself was slow and had a handful of Western Grebes and American White Pelicans. I then looked at the pond on the north side of the road by the dairy. With the Mallards and Northern Shovelers there were a number of shorebirds. There was 1 Killdeer, 1 Least Sandpiper, 1 Willet, 2 Wilson's Phalaropes, and 2 American Avocets. 
All in all it was a wonderful day with 6 year birds. 

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